Zag Ep. 24 – How to Build a Culture of Constant Reinvention, How Unilever is Fighting Back Against the Challengers, and an Interview with one of the Authors of the Jobs to be Done Framework

🏋️ Driving change in an organization or market is one thing. Creating a culture that can inherently and consistently drive change over time is an entirely different and much more daunting task.

The ability to adapt over time to take advantage of change rather than be taken advantage of is at the core of what makes a successful challenger. (Share this on Twitter)

Changing once is better than not changing at all. But the consumer, cultural, and competitive landscape is constantly changing, and at a rate that’s only increasing. Expectations are evolving, attention is flowing into new channels, new trends are rising and falling, and more and more noise is being flung at consumers. It’s essential that marketing leaders build cultures of constant reinvention into their teams so that their brands and messaging maintain their effectiveness over time.

Constant reinvention comes down to three things: self-awareness, feedback, and speed.

When you think about self-awareness, you think about it in the context of an individual. It’s in the name of the term after all: “self”. But the reasons self-awareness is critical to our personal growth are the same reasons it’s critical to organizational growth. You need to know who you are in order to know how you might need to change. Ask yourself if you really know what your customers and wider consumers really think about your brand and marketing. Chances are there’s an opportunity to grow your organizational self-awareness.

Once you’ve identified the need for greater self-awareness, you need to start collecting the inputs that will give it to you – you need feedback. Start with your own team and make sure you’ve created a culture where feedback is sought out and appreciated. But also think about how you can get clear, constant feedback on your marketing. Are you listening to what your customers are saying? Are you turning data into real insights? Feedback is the raw material for growth – collect it, refine it, and pour it into your team’s engine.

Speed is the single biggest advantage challengers have over incumbents. The ability to make decisions and get to market faster provides a massive, fundamental advantage in everything challengers do. Speed lets you capture more mind and market share, especially in new spaces, but it also gives you more feedback on what’s working and what’s not. It makes you smarter faster, which in times of change is key to winning. Think about how you and your team can make decisions faster. Take process out where you can, give people more freedom (even to fail), make that cycle learning and growth spin faster.

Make time to assess and improve these three dimensions in your marketing team: self-awareness, feedback, and speed. They are the foundation for constant reinvention which is the flywheel of long-term growth.

Further reading/listening on this topic

Reed Hastings and Netflix: Netflix Culture Deck (must-read if you haven’t yet), No Rules Rules, Reed Hasting and Ben Horowitz interview
Radical Candor by Kim Scott – our favourite book on fostering a strong culture of feedback
Carol Dweck’s work on creating a Growth vs a Fixed Mindset

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