20 October 2010

When something is wrong, just do it harder (NOT)

When I was President of AIESEC Norway (my all time preferred starter phrase) and we were doing really dangerously bad financially, I pushed the team to go to sales. Every single person, including the ones who had no clue on how to do it and didn't want to learn also. After that, there was a lot more effort on the sales, but, the results kept the same: not good enough. A bunch of amateurs trying harder something that was already not working with the pros didn't work. (Who could guess that?)

When you read it, it sounds so obvious: who is idiot enough to push harder on something that is not working? Who believes that crushing the square shape into the circle hole is the answer? Well, most people, including myself, when the thing that is not working was/is the base for the business. Anyone sees the whole of the music industry pushing harder on something that is not working anymore?

After that we used a bit our heads and then decided to use more efforts into a product we were able to sell, but we needed to sell much more to make it more relevant to the business. Well, we did. And we did a hell of a good job doing it - so much that around 60% of our financial year profit came from it. Doing more of what was working actually helped more (again, who could guess that?)

Next time you solve a problem, check this out: do you need to solve that specific problem (lack of sales) or can you just solve the situation by using a different approach altogether (sell more of the product that is selling and leave untouched the product that is not selling)?


  1. Quality over quantity. Quantity never lasts. You can only fool some people for some time not all for all the time!

    This is indeed one of the qualities a great leader should possess. To recognize when to quit and when to put in more effort is a gift very few get!

    Like your opinions. And it has nothing to do with me being in AIESEC :P

    Keep writing!


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