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As I frequently share on stage, one of the secrets to being crisis ready is to choose your lens.
The lens through which you choose to see a negative situation directly impacts the actions you take in response to that situation, which directly impacts the results that that situation has on your brand. This means that choosing your lens, and empowering your teams to have and act through the right lens, is essential in building brand invincibility.
When I say “negative situations” I’m not just talking about crises. Issues manifest all the time in business, and the way we manage our issues does one of two things:
- Chips away at the brand’s credibility and the trust its stakeholders have in it, over time; or
- Presents an opportunity to live the brand’s values, increasing the trust, credibility, and goodwill within the organization, and strengthening the relationships shared with stakeholders, helping to build upon the brand’s invincibility.
We face issues all the time in business
For example, this week I faced an issue with my forthcoming book, Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, when my publisher had the unpleasant task of needing to tell me that the printer that is printing my book faced a delay and I have two options ahead of me:
- Keep the launch date of March 6th, but not actually have books on that date. This means that Amazon will tell people that the book is out of stock and does not know when it will be back in stock; or
- Push my launch date by two weeks, even though I’ve been announcing and excited about the March 6th release date.
Being crisis ready means that when you are faced with an issue, you instinctively take a 360 degree view and analysis of the scope and impact of the situation.
Is this situation an issue or a crisis for me, and what is its potential impact?
Option 1: Keep the original launch date
What’s the risk here? Having my book say that it is out of stock right out of the gate is not good. Not only is it not good for my relationship with Amazon, but through my lens, it would be an unwanted disappointment to those who have preordered their copies (if this is you, thank you for your preorder!), and disappointing people who have graciously supported me and my work is not something I am willing to do. Plus, launching my book out of stock is not the best way to launch a book!
Option 2: Push my publication date
While this delay is an annoyance (to me and potentially to you, so my sincere apologies), it doesn’t carry the same weight of consequences as launching a book out of stock. Additionally, if I look at the situation through the right lens, it provides me with additional time to gain preorders of Crisis Ready, and additional time to prepare my content marketing strategy for the book’s launch—and do I ever have some fun things coming your way!
So, which option do you think I chose?
The book’s new launch date is March 20th!
This was clearly an issue, not a crisis. However, it was an issue that needed to be considered, weighed, and acted upon—as all issues do. I could have chosen to be frustrated, or I could choose my lens and move forward in a way that views this minor setback as an opportunity.
Through what lens does your team view negative situations?
Are they encouraged, empowered, and rewarded for choosing and acting through the right lens? Choosing your lens may seem simple, but it is so powerful and is one of the secrets to building an invincible brand.
The book to help you build an INVINCIBLE brand.
By Melissa Agnes
Order copies for you and your team on amazon, or contact email@example.com for special bulk pricing!
Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.
Robert Dunne says
You chose the wrong lens, by assuming there were only 2 options; and potentially damaged your brand unnecessarily.
The correct lens would have resulted in:
1. Securing a new printer to meet your deadline.
2. Charging back any additional cost of the new printer to the printer that could not fulfill the contract.
3. Keeping the launch March 6th launch date & book availability with Amazon, invisible to your customers and solidifying your brand by doing exactly what you said you would do.
Melissa Agnes Admin says
If only it could have been that simple! The issue happened far too late in the process for me to change printers. Additionally, the amount of detail that I have put into the quality of this book, including the printing, has left me with only one supplier that will meet my personal expectations.
Sometimes issues happen that are beyond our control. It could have been worse, and I’m not worried about having damage to my brand as a result-otherwise, it would be a crisis!
But I do appreciate your thought process in looking for ways to mitigate the situation for me, thank you!
I loved that you used a real life example that applies to you! I appreciated how you wrote out your options and explained why chose what you did. I also liked how broke down the info into quick paragraphs.
Melissa Agnes Admin says
I’m glad you enjoyed the story and its message, Kenzie! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback with me. It’s always great and helpful to hear what resonates with people, so I appreciate it.