Years ago, when I used to compete in Muay Thai kickboxing, I found out that there were only two options when getting in the ring and finding yourself under attack.
Option 1 was to “Turtle Up”, bringing all your limbs in close to your body and trying not to get hurt. You would most likely not get knocked out this way, but you would definitely lose the fight, even if you made it through to the final bell.
Option 2 was to Fight Back. Of course this didn’t mean dropping your hands, and charging chin first into the opposing fighter, that would be suicide. It did however mean coming out of your guard, and taking the offense, absorbing each blow from the opposition, and counterpunching to your best effect. Sure, there was the risk that you may get caught unexpectedly with a devastating blow, but there was also the chance of standing at the end with your hand raised in victory.
So why do I bring this up this morning? I am a customer of several Fortune 500 companies. That in itself is not unique, the very fact that they are large companies means that most of us probably do business with them. I also don’t believe I am unique in finding that more and more these companies are severely lacking in resolving issues with their products and services. It is a specific case of businesses deciding to Turtle Up.
The poor economy and meandering profits has somehow convinced many companies today to go into protection mode. They hear sounds of potential danger and quickly pull their heads into their shells. Funnily enough, the vibrations that cause them panic, may have just been the rumblings of economic opportunity. In today’s world of social media, excessive blogging (case in point, lol), and crowd sourcing, the sharing of these narratives about poor customer service, lack of follow through, and just out right penny pinching by these corporations, avoiding responsibility for poor workmanship and service at all costs, actually extends rather than decreases their hardships.
Sometimes, sticking your head out when you hear potential trouble, is the only way to gain perspective on your surroundings, and to find a way to push forward through challenges, instead of riding them out inside the comfort of a corporate shell.
I know I for one will always deal with companies who face challenges, address potential issues, and show me that they have the spirit needed to fight and win in the future. The other carnivorous giants will all end up going the way of the T-Rex eventually if they do not evolve, leaving the world to be inhabited by a new breed of businesses.