HOPE. AIN'T NO STRATEGY


I'm so sorry, but my show ain't ready,"


Have you seen that Adele has postponed her Las Vegas residency - just 24 hours before opening night?

The superstar told fans in a tearful update on Instagram. "Half my team have Covid and it's been impossible to finish the show," she added.


I saw the post and she was genuinely upset; I really felt for her - who wouldn’t? Adele is 1 of Britain’s greatest exports and arguably 1 of the great singer/songwriters of our times.


There is a however in all of this of course but it’s not directed at Adele specifically - it’s her advisors, were they asleep at the wheel? Surely, they should have realised that Covid was the existential threat that could ruin everything.


The dust has only just settled on the Novak Djokovic fiasco, so we are all by now painfully aware of the reputational fallout that can happen when advisors aren’t advising (see No-vak Djokovic).



Speaking of advisors, where were Adele's? No understudies? Why not support your people by giving them the tools and resources to deliver their work remotely where possible or at least impose sanctions for failing to comply with the rules.


Real-World Experience

For example, my former boss took his family to Dubai on holiday last October; part of the contract with his 2 teenage children was that they had to stay out of circulation for 2-weeks to ensure they didn’t catch Covid and force the holiday to be cancelled.

His children dutifully complied with the contract and were rewarded by being able to enjoy a beautiful, sun-soaked break when we were in the dull, greyness of Autumn. Sound reasonable? Of course, it does (sounds fantastic, to be honest 🤣)


The point is that my old boss took appropriate measures to mitigate the risk of having to cancel a much-needed family holiday.


Back to the Adele situation, there will be a long list of “losses” that stem from cancelling such a huge event at the very last moment.

Chief amongst them is lost income of course. Adele - with a reputed net worth of $190m - can probably afford to take that kind of a financial hit but what about everyone else in her team?


Her business ecosystem comprising:

  • Staff/Security/Entourage

  • Hotels

  • Entertainment venues

  • Restaurants

Also, what about her fans - many of whom had already travelled to Las Vegas for the opening night? They will all have suffered large losses too.


How to De-Risk?

Pay your people enough money so they can stay out of circulation and still support themselves

Retain a staffing agency that can give you people at short notice


HOPE…IS NOT A STRATEGY

We’ve all heard the mantra hope for the best, plan for the worst and here’s a prime example of what happens when there’s no Plan B, no plan for the worst.


Unfortunately, our lives - and livelihoods - are pretty much ruled by the Covid pandemic right now.


Unfortunately, we live in a time now need to ask ourselves the following question::

Could Covid impact upon this event and do we need to mitigate?

If the answer to that question is Yes and the consequences are not acceptable (e.g. the show has to be cancelled) then it pays to invest in a risk mitigation plan.


My Take

Always have a plan B, no matter how unlikely the outcome is likely to be. If the outcome is unacceptable, then what are you going to do about it?


Lack of a Plan B is why Burma/Castrol had to be sold off and why Kodak ultimately went into liquidation (see Gerry Johnson's book Exploring Strategy)



If you’re reading this, then chances are you’re not a music icon of our times (hard to accept I know) but does that excuse us mere mortals not to plan professionally for a Plan B?


No, Of course it doesn’t.


My Advice

Presenting in-person - are you allowed to access their network/Wifi?

Take a pre-loaded memory stick with your deck.


Also, take enough printed copies of the presentation with you - not ideal but it beats the embarrassment of abandoning the meeting


2. Travel the night before If you’re speaking at an event, if possible. Nothing says amateur more than going MIA due to your train/plane/automobile being late or cancelled


3. Have a Best Possible Result ("BPR") and a Minimum Acceptable Result ("MAR") in mind for important meetings, just in case walking out with a nice big juicy order isn’t possible that particular day.


If this blog resonates with you or if there are any sales or presentation issues you’re currently grappling with, then message me for a quick chat:


keith@salesmarvel.co.uk


Marvel-lous

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