Back when Superman used to change into his outfit in a phone booth, the question was: where does he put Clark’s shoes? Because even if he could compress them with his super strength, they’d be ruined.
Organizations that need to adopt different personas often get into trouble.
On one hand, most of the time, they’re invisible. They’re a boring bureaucracy, optimized for stable jobs, predictable if not low-cost processes, mediocre customer service and average (or below average) user interface design. They’re a monopoly and they act like one.
But then, when things break, they’re expected to act like heroes, like people who truly care. They are expected to hustle, to find the edge of the performance curve, to really step up.
Unfortunately, their shoes don’t compress very well.
We know it can be done. We see heroic organizations do great work.
Small businesses sometimes wrestle with the opposite. They get their accounts by acting like heroes, performing miracles on an emergency basis. But when it comes time to regularly do the work, to show up and show up and show up, they don’t have the resources or the patience to do so.
The opportunity is to choose. To truly embrace one and buy precisely the right kind of shoes.