In my home country of Australia, there is a famous type of candy called “Minties”. The company that produces Minties has a long-running advertising campaign that presents comical situations with the caption “It’s moments like these.” The catchphrase has become part of the Australian language. In short, when life serves you a curveball, take a break and enjoy some Minties.
In business, we are presented with numerous Minties moments.
“It’s not what happens to us but how we react.” Like many wise sayings, this advice is easy to preach but hard to practice. Who hasn’t wanted to yell at support staff, clients, or even a complaining customer? I often think that the world would be such a great place if people would just behave how I wanted them to.
I was recently reminded that a crisis can provide a great opportunity to show leadership, demonstrate integrity, and deepen relationships.
Two of my colleagues were discussing and complaining about a client. The more junior of the two quickly gave her senior colleague a reality check. When she was a student, she had worked a part-time job at Starbucks, and was taught the phrase ‘client recovery’. If a customer was unhappy, the situation provided an opportunity to go the extra mile, she explained. Problem situations can thus be seen as opportunities to show our circle of influence that we mean what we say and say what we mean.
When things go wrong, and they always do, it is important to keep focused on recovery and not blame. Whatever has happened has already happened, and we need to concentrate on being proactive in moving forward and looking for a solution.
Winston Churchill once said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste”. Often, we need a degree of pain to make a change, and perhaps the degree of pain is directly related to our willingness to take the necessary action and change. This is true on a personal level and in the corporate world.
Many years ago, when Coca-Cola attempted to change its product to “New Coke,” it met with widespread disdain. Coke learned that it was best not to mess with a product that had a deep emotional connection with its customers. When the CEO at the time, Donald Keogh, was asked if the change of product was an elaborate marketing strategy, he answered, “We’re not that dumb, and we’re not that smart.”
The crisis proved to be a catalyst for Coke to rebrand its old product as “Classic Coke” and to win the “cola wars” with Pepsi.
Every day we are faced with “Minties Moments.” In approaching them, we should embrace the obstacles and bumps in the road, use them to teach our teams, and realize that within our daily drama lies the seed of opportunity.
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