Many companies live on “The Edge of Tomorrow.” That’s both a value judgment and a movie title tie-in. The movie, a Tom Cruise sci-fi adventure that died at the U.S. box office last year, was about a guy who, on a daily basis, dies after the same battle with a formidable enemy. But every day he comes back to life to fight that battle again, and little by little he develops new strategies to be more effective.
Sure it’s far-fetched. Imagine—learning from your mistakes!
Many companies fight the same battle every day without learning anything from it; and they die a little every day too. We addressed the symptoms of this in our last blog, and how instead of learning from mistakes, they defend their strategy and their brand using a blog as their weapon.
A business acquaintance who read our blog said “never mind your brand, I’m all about getting people to think about defending their customer and their customer’s customer from those mistakes; that’s why their jobs exist.”
That’s the moral of that Cruise movie in a nutshell: We get into trouble if we forget the lessons from our mistakes. If we forget those, our customers will forget us. That’s an existential threat you can’t come back from, so you must take it seriously.
That deadly amnesia explains why programs like Lean/Six-Sigma don’t work for some companies. As their personnel change, their culture evolves, and eventually all memories of lessons learned from past lean battle strategies vanish. This existential threat is linked to forgetting the values we develop through our staff and client interactions, and it’s why Goldstein Group asks its employees to periodically revisit what our values need to be as a B2B communications company. The result is a living list of core values. It’s nice to share these with our clients, but it’s essential that we commit them to our institutional memory—and adjust them to justify our continued survival as we edge toward tomorrow.
Written by Tom Andel: Goldstein Group agency account manager and content creator who writes with an editor’s mind, a writer’s soul and our clients’ best interests at heart.