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A 2021 Recap!

I wanted to do a quick recap of some of the ideas and things I’ve learned this year.

  1. Change is still something folks struggle with: despite a whole list of reasons to focus on improvement, change, and opportunities…too many organizations and people have tried to fall back into the “way things have always been”. That’s going to hold recovery back.
  2. The Power Framework: I learned this from Dr. Kamal Munir at Cambridge. It has been one of the most helpful strategic frameworks for analyzing a situation. I used it to make sense of the Super League nonsense and many other business and cultural stories this year.
  3. Pricing is marketing’s MVP moment: Pricing is one area that I’ve put a lot of attention this year. I’ve also found it is an area filled with nonsense and BS. Pricing, like most marketing, deserves research. Pricing also is about knowing your market, knowing your value, but, most importantly, managing the perception that the market has of you and your business.
  4. The point of breakdown in most organization’s strategy isn’t in diagnosis or execution, but in formulation: I’m going to spend a lot more time focusing on helping people understand how to put together a strategy in 2022, but the big challenge most organizations seem to face isn’t in understanding what the problem is or even what the situation looks like. And, execution is a dime a dozen situation. But putting together an actual strategy is something that is beyond far too many organizations.
  5. As there is less competition in more markets, we are seeing market orientation fly out the window: I asked about the likelihood that as income inequality took hold in more markets if that would drive more crap marketing and the link wasn’t actually there. But I did look at the markets of the world this year and I saw that as there is less competition in the market, the likelihood that the customer is even considered goes down. Market Orientation is a key idea in the world of marketing and if you don’t have to compete for customers, you don’t really have to worry too much about what they think.
  6. The Great Resignation being about people reviewing their lives has become a cliche: The data still points to fear of the coronavirus, mixed with reviewing their options, and wanting different things. Bad pay, bad working conditions, and poor treatment are there too. But the situation is much more complicated than most folks will let on about.
  7. The New Normal is tired already and we aren’t even there yet: There isn’t some new normal. That’s lazy thinking. We aren’t near a new normal either. History always pointed us towards a 2 or 3 year battle against the virus. Again, look at history. We’ve also squandered many opportunities to get the virus fully under control in America which seems to be a lesson we repeated from the 1918 pandemic as well. Alan Weiss coined a term, “No Normal”. It fits. I’ll just say what we are going to see for the next few years is a period of “The Abnormal”.

I’ll update this with some more ideas as we go through the next few days, but these are the notes I’ve been making the last few weeks.

What about you?