We all think of distraction as a very personal thing… the phone rings, a gazillion emails flooding in. That app that needs your attention, like right now. But this is the easy stuff. That’s all individual discipline. You find your balance own it, and move on. Distraction within a brand is totally different…
There’s a few different kinds of organization distraction, but I find they all have one thing in common: fear.
The fear of accountability.
When you have to be afraid of talking to your boss about a mistake, a wrong direction or an interpersonal issue there’s a problem. Without the ability to have these productive conversations without fear of repercussion is a huge distraction for the brand. Focus is turned away from driving the brand forward and turns it into multiple individual agendas.
The fear of new ideas.
We all know that the worst way to drive innovation is through committee-based decision making and multiple levels of approval and compliance. Nothing new, exciting or fresh gets through and the status quo wins. Which will work for a while. But, at some point the brand is then relegated to the “catch-up-after-it’s too-late” role. Scrambling, change and panic are now the focus instead of the strategic plan.
The fear from within.
When the brand makes bad recruitment decisions by letting people into the brand that don’t align with the values, culture and vision then it sets up an environment where the culture now has to turn its focus from alignment, to protection. I’d argue that this causes the most disruption within a brand and culture. It takes away from the common goal and sucks engagement away faster than anything else.
Distraction is like trudging through knee-deep snow. It’s slow, frustrating and just fucking annoying. Leave fear to the weak. To the self-centered, and to those who lack substance and sustainability.
Don’t allow this where you work. The greater good will thank you for it.