…making brands simple, relevant, and compelling.

Why I’m Done Fishing for Whales…

January 11th, 2011

And going to school with other little fish.

I used to work for a large corporation, one of the largest software companies in the world.

Never really cared for it. Too large. So large it was an inefficient (read: stupid) operation collectively.

There were areas of intelligence. But they were dwarfed by the collective arrogance and ignorance of the total organization.

I can almost hear you saying, “Thanks for your report Captain Obvious!”

I express this self-evident idea for those who still believe their future lies in hooking up with BIG entities in any form.

There may be strength in numbers, but the actual future belongs to the small and nimble operations that can act, and react, to marketplace dynamics that require a fleetness-of-foot that escapes large organizations.

And now you’re thinking, “Of course, a guy operating an independent single-person brand consultancy is going to champion small.”

It’s not for lack of alternatives. I’ve worked at, and with, large companies. I could still be working for a large company, had I chosen to move across the country, liquidate a lifetime of assets, leave my hometown, and start all over in a strange place (with 2 million strangers) where the cost of living is dramatically higher. That’s the type of “opportunity” a large company offers folks they supposedly value and would like to retain. I can only imagine the “deal” sunbathers, slackers, and posers are offered.

Offer made. Offer rejected. Life goes on.

I’ve taken the collective wisdom of 25+ years of business experience and packaged it with the intent of selling advice to companies who need (and value) such relevant experience and expertise. I naturally thought that companies like the one I worked for – especially ones with similar challenges – would actually need (and value) an objective perspective – a professional second opinion – regarding their efforts.

Nope. They are not interested in revisiting the way they do things. “This is how we do it, because this is how we got, and keep, our jobs. Thank you very much. Now, please go away. Your very presence is threatening and provokes anxiety. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

Yeah, like that’s ever going to happen.

Of course, the above rejection is expressed in perfectly acceptable Business Communications 101 style. “Thank you for your interest…blah, blah, blah… We’ll keep you in mind…blah, blah, blah… When future possibilities…blah, blah, blah…”

Please, save the corporate-speak for those idiots who actually still believe it. Tell me straight out, if there is any possibility of working together, or not. I’m an adult who’s been a practicing professional longer than some of these junior woodchucks have been alive. (And, yes, I understand the upside and downside of the last sentence.) Spare me the bullshit of your “professional” correspondence. It’s more transparent than your limited view of the possibilities of actually working together.

Long story short, I’m done courting the business of companies that are too large to understand the value of external resources, objective perspectives, a professional second-opinion.

When they’ve got it all figured out, what could anyone from outside their organization/industry possibly bring to the table? Evidently nothing.

Thankfully, small businesses don’t suffer from this narrow-minded viewpoint. They actually seek relevant valuable alternative perspectives. They know what they know, and more importantly understand there are things they don’t know. They actively search out those whose knowledge fills in the gaps. Fortunately, small businesses dramatically outnumber large businesses, and small businesses tend to work with each other.

So, even a one-person consulting business like mine, should fare well with all those little fish in the sea. I’m going fishing for little fish – like me. I’ll find them in schools. Learning together.

I’ve learned my lesson, Moby.

Thoughts … On Brand

Neither deep nor finely crafted. Feel free to take exception – or not. Need help? Just ask.

Recent Comments

  • Shannon: Love!
  • mojo: Simple is as simple does.
  • Bonnie: This is better than just “thoughts”…i t is a workbook simplified! Thanks!
  • Spider: yup.
  • Michael Olsen: Met Harmon when working for National Car Rental years back. We did a “Sports Legends” golf...
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