Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The b team: Time to get structural?

Radio silence for a few weeks. I - like everyone else I suspect - have been in busy doing mode. Taking care of business. Running. Focusing on tangible deliverables, and getting them in place, on time (and, hopefully, above quality). The current market is no place to be playing catch-up. Even if we know we are not getting ahead, we certainly don't want to get behind.

On the other hand the current market demands us to seek new ways to wire up the business model. And that doesn't show any sign of easing up at all. Businesses and industries facing potentially lethal challenges need to make time for the lateral planning to find new ways through the maze.

The leisure industry is taking the latest pounding: airlines, casinos, theme parks and pubcos. Who next? It seems self evident now that the squeeze is not going to remit, and I'm not sure there are any 'safe' industries that won't feel it.

Is it time that we addressed the issue structurally? What would happen if we divided the marketing department in two with half responsible for immediate doing, the other half for strategic planning. Not the classic 'brands' vs 'innovations' split, because this is more likely to be about new routes to market, profitability structures, partnerships and consumer segments than it is about new products and brands.

It would mean reducing the headcount activating each brand - probably doubling up responsibilities to (at least) a category level. But this is the only logical way to liberate resources to design the post-squeeze corporation.

If Tomorrow:AM had anyone to delegate to, we'd be doing it that way. Would you? Or have you already? I'd be interested (as ever) in your views.