My staff are worn down by losing to a competitor. Help!

Dear Aunty B,

I feel under siege by a competitor who has literally declared war on us.


I can’t see that they are doing anything illegal, so there is no use going to the ACCC. But it is very wearing on my staff, who are being beaten at the last minute by this mob.

Any ideas?





Dear Reuben,

My advice to you? Declare war. And have some fun.


How do you do that at the same time? Do you remember the great war that erupted between Dell and Compaq?


Michael Dell decided to rally his troops by going into battle against Compaq. He himself put on army fatigues, he put camouflage nets around the office and addressed his sales and production squadrons as if it were life and death.


Vern Harnish in his book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits gives another great example. Baby America Online was under attack by giant Microsoft. The then president got the AOL workforce together and unveiled a giant dinosaur called Microsoft. The dinosaur then was moved around the offices to anyone that struck a blow against Microsoft.


The point? If the troops are flagging, create a powerful image that is symbolic of the competitor, the risk or the leap forward that the company must make. As Harnish points out, it is about encouraging the heart. Your staff might think you are nuts – but hey, you are!


Good luck,

Your Aunty B.


Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch

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