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It has often been said, especially in professional football, that “the best
defense is a great offense”. Or was it “the best offense is a great
After 20 years of providing marketing and management consulting services to businesses within the
entertainment category as well as other industries, their strategic
business approach is either “offense oriented” or “defense-oriented”,
based upon the team the leaders, managers or owners have assembled.
Every client says they want more revenue, but in reality, some are actually
AFRAID of more revenue. They are the defensive businesses who tend to hire
defensive employees. People who are content with the status quo; people who
say, “Oh we tried that and it didn’t work.” And never look for the reason
People who believe that they are in a “sunset industry” or a "no growth
industry" or "very low growth industry" and, thus, have no motivation to do
anything differently...other than to say, "Nothing works
anymore." (Including them!!)
Or people who just want to ride it out until they can sell.
Or they hire people who are mere auditors always thinking about theft; that
someone is stealing, that they have to micromanage everything and their
strategic visions is, “Don’t lose what you have and protect the principle
at all costs”. People who say, “I will invest as little as possible to
market my business” and are slow, very slow, to embrace dynamic and new
internet marketing processes.
Some have even hired internet companies to do this for them and may have
even been successful with it, but the center no longer manages or plays in
the game…they have hired replacements to play what they believe is
“offense.” Yet, when they don’t see immediate returns in 90 days, they
fire the company and move even further away from "the offense" culture and
dig their heels in even deeper to play “better” defense.
In fact, the worst situation that the defensive company can be in is to
hire a bright, intelligent motivated person to develop a new set of
programs. And when that employee stays up and burns the midnight creative
oil to present proposals with facts and conclusions to owners, managers and
other employees, they eventually get, “that won’t work”; “you can’t do that
because of blah, blah, blah.”
Eventually and usually before six months that new employee quits, having
been frustrated by the defensive players’ fear of risk, finger pointing and
blame. While employees are very concerned about any changes, it is
usually, the leader, the manager and/or the owner the owner is even more
scared than the employees and this attitude just permeates the
organization... So they continue to play defense and still don’t understand
why their business begins to atrophy.
On the other hand, those companies who are led by the “offensively oriented
proprietor, manager or company executive wants all employee input; wants to
reward them for new ideas; has established a culture of "teamwork", goal
setting, easy to implement processes, and constant training.
In this offensive minded environment, every idea is valuable, is considered
and evaluated thoroughly from the perspective of “how can we run this
play”? What new resources will we need to make it happen? How quickly
can we roll it out in an alpha and then beta test? It is this organization
that truly values every employee and accepts new ideas from all.
Unlike the defensive company that says, ah we’ve heard that before, it just
won’t work here, the offensive company looks for reasons to make it work,
to reward the employee for his /her idea suggestion, recommendation and
What kind of people do you think they tend to hire? That’s right. The
aggressive self-starter who wants to achieve, who wants to be part of a
team and who respects everyone on that team
If you find yourself in the former category (defensive), look in the mirror
and evaluate yourself first.
Offense or Defense? The choice is yours
But I know what I would do.