It’s easy for brands and organizations to say they stand for something when there’s nothing at stake. The idea of purpose and purpose washing is something I’ve thought and written about. I’m on record saying I don’t believe companies don’t need to have a higher purpose as it has come to be known. In fact, having a stated purpose that is not true is likely much more damaging.
I was set to speak with Scott Goodson, founder of StrawberryFrog, sometime before we ended up in self-isolation. But the timing was perfect. His experience partnering with brands to turn purpose into movement highlights the best of business and branding. People using the energy they have for the purpose to drive the business and vice versa.
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Adam Pierno 0:09
All right, welcome back to another episode of The Strategy Inside Everything I am joined today, on – outside it’s a beautiful day I think in my head, it’s a little grayer. We’re recording this during the ongoing COVID-19 situation. So we’re both hunkered down working from home but Scott Goodson who is the co-founder and movement maker – Yes, I said it Scott — at StrawberryFrog is kind enough to make time to join me. How are you today?
Scott Goodson 0:40
I am – Knock on wood – well and safe my family’s safe I colleagues are safe. Going through some really challenging times, interesting times. And special times require special people and I feel really blessed to be Working with a group of really wonderful people right now. And, you know, you always can tell when things are. When things get tough, the tough get going. And it’s really I mean, it’s such a cliche, but it really is so true. People really stand up and they make really important things happen.
Adam Pierno 1:19
Yeah, character becomes, it shows up at that time.
Scott Goodson 1:25
Ordinary, but true, you know, in times of confusion, you know, reverting back to your, your truenorth your values, your purpose, what you care about is really all you can do, because you’re faced with, you’re faced with fear, and the unknown and in order to be able to, you know, ride that out, you really need to revert back to some form of stability. Some kind of security and security is a your values and your purpose. Yep.
Adam Pierno 2:02
Hey Scott, would you mind giving people a little background on your career or you know how you started what what led you to start StrawberryFrog and and how it’s how it’s grown since then.
Scott Goodson 2:16
Absolutely. So StrawberryFrog. We can start with StrawberryFrog. So StrawberryFrog is a movement marketing and transformation company. We develop movements in order to engage consumers into brands to activate brand purpose in order to connect consumers with brands and companies and services in order to sell and grow those products and services. We also work with CEOs and chro OHS HR leaders to transform companies through movements inside Companies as a means of changing the culture changing behaviors. So movement is the common theme, common framework we use. It is much like it sounds societal movement principles of a societal movement in order to engage people in in really powerful ways. And StrawberryFrog was created 20 years ago, actually 21 years ago now on 14th, on Valentine’s Day 1999. The name StrawberryFrog is actually the name.
Adam Pierno 3:36
I was going to ask
Scott Goodson 3:39
I’ll leave it for later, we started a company to create good. We said that a movement is a brand’s best friend. We took that stand 20 years ago, to use creativity for good to create good results, good work, good impacts for our clients and among our teammates. And we’re constantly looking for ways to do good in society by activating purpose based brands, with movement. And, and that that that sort of focus that we have really came out of an idea that I, I had to develop very fortunately working in Sweden, back in the in the late 80s, early 90s. And beginning of my career, I worked with a lot of Swedish. I was working in the advertising industry in Stockholm, Sweden. And a lot of the Swedish multinationals started to grow outside of the Swedish market into Scandinavia and Europe. And then of course, globally. Companies like IKEA, like, it’s a time Ericsson, which was the world’s largest mobile phone maker, hmm. And other companies. And what I learned back then, was that consumers were looking for more from there. Brands than just the brands themselves. So they, in effect, were looking for brands to provide, you know, have more women on boards, they wanted brands not to have as much packaging. So they wouldn’t be environmentally contaminating. They wanted to deal with social issues. So these, this consumer demand, basically created, what we now know is purpose based strategies. In Northern Europe, it wasn’t the companies that came out of it, it was the consumers that drove that. And I was sitting there working with these companies going well, this is a really powerful idea, this idea of creating a purpose. But as we, you know, in real time, when you’re working with purpose, it tends to be very theoretical. And inside a company where the CEO stands up and says, Hey, our purpose is x y, Zed. A lot of employees just naturally start to applaud and say, Oh, that’s wonderful. Even though it can be super hard to understand what the what the purpose is. It can be very tedious. radical, very difficult to actually take and use to at the core of your strategy to change your company, innovate new products, and so forth. And so as we took this purpose, strategy, and and started marketing the Swedish friends outside of Sweden, in places like Poland or Thailand, or Australia or Brazil or even in the United States, we saw that people just didn’t get it. They were like, We don’t get this purposely, like, What are you talking about?
Adam Pierno 6:31
They didn’t understand the connection between the purpose and themselves, or they didn’t understand the connection between the purpose and the customers or they couldn’t connect the purpose to the business itself? What was the disconnect do you think?
Unknown Speaker 6:45
A mixture of things in some countries like Thailand and Poland. They didn’t have phones. So we came in and said, Hey, the purpose of Erickson is XYZ had never like, all we need is phones. We don’t have any phones. So he just showed us have found that’s what people want. But in other more developed markets like Australia, Brazil or the United States, people, consumers weren’t looking for brands to do more than make good stuff. So they weren’t interested in brands standing for women, more women on boards or parentally. For for parents working in companies or less pollution wasn’t on their top 10 agenda was like, we want good products at reasonable prices, high quality products, you know, democratized style, democratized furniture, do all those things that’s helpful for us but don’t go beyond that doesn’t make really sense. So the bigger social issues that were relevant in Northern Europe in Germany and Scandinavia, just at the time were not relevant. They were in the minds of consumers in other parts of the world.
Adam Pierno 7:53
Scott Goodson 7:54
They’re there now
Adam Pierno 7:56
Do you see Yeah, now now all the issues that you guys are but do you think I’ve read studies where, you know, people under 30 will say they prefer sustainable products. But then it a has to be at least table stakes in performance or appearance or style. And it has to be similar in price for them to really honor that and make a move on it is that a reflection of of kind of an immature market, seeing a phone and saying we just need phones, I don’t need the purpose. But then when they’re saturated with phone options, the purpose becomes more important because it’s a it’s a differentiator or a reason to align with a product or a brand.
Scott Goodson 8:40
I mean, I look at my own children who are teenagers, my son is 18. You know, he grew up with messages around him of concern around the environment is the environment that is sustainable in the next in his lifetime. What career choices should it make, whether there be jobs, and they that humans will do versus machines. I mean, there’s a lot of a lot of question marks about the future. So I think young people being brought up in that world realize that it’s not enough just to buy stuff. They need to be making intelligent decisions about brands and bike. Clearly, there’s still a lot of people buying stuff because we’re in the middle of a pandemic. And young people are still going out at night and partying, and they don’t understand what this means. So there is a certain depth there among a certain group of people in terms of sustainability, bigger issues that we need to know that and the trend is certainly in that direction. I wouldn’t say every young person is feeling that way. But I would say it’s a lot more relevant to this younger generation today, to have brands that are doing good, then perhaps that were in the 80s 90s When it was all about partying and making money and not really caring about anything, right, other than, look, how much can you get? Obviously that changed a little bit over time, but it’s become more acute.
Adam Pierno 10:13
Do the do the brands that approach StrawberryFrog? Are they coming to you because they already have a purpose that they want and they know that you’ll help illuminate that are connected to people, or are they coming to you because they’re looking to help with definition of a purpose that either exists but is dormant or exists or doesn’t really exist in Hollywood.
Scott Goodson 10:38
So we, we are experts at helping people who have a purpose, activate that purpose, because the biggest challenge is a lot of companies develop a purpose, and they don’t know what to do with it. They don’t know how to use it in their marketing communications to sell more stuff. They don’t know how to use it in order to motivate employees. or change the way they operate inside the organization. So that’s that’s where we that’s really our core essence we go in and we say, Look, why is not enough? You can spend all your time figuring out what’s my why. You got to figure out once you figure out what your why is, how do you actually activate it in such a way that you can use it as a leadership tool to engage your people. You can use it as a tool inside your organization to foster collaboration between different departments that typically don’t do that. There’s a lot of internal benefits to having a movement. You can use it to generate trust, motivation, creativity, among different work groups that typically you would get from a top down mandate from the CEO which today doesn’t carry as much weight as it did 10 years ago. Because, you know, if you look at the world we’re living in, you know, the queues are coming or not coming from the editor of Vogue. They’re not coming from the editors of the top magazines. Coming from blogs on on Instagram and, and other social media sites where people are getting their cues for fashion and culture and style and information. So, you know, it’s grassroots right now and the framework of a movement can be a powerful leadership tool in today’s world for an organization. And then externally, we can help companies take a purpose and use it as a as a sales and marketing strategy in order to grow the business. That’s really our focus.
Adam Pierno 12:31
They come with the why developed – they come with the why sometimes help them bring it to life?
Scott Goodson 12:38
Correct sometimes that why is very theoretical. I mean, it’s like a long sentence that you have to read it four or five times before you understand what it’s trying to say. And every word has been measured, of course, by the organization, by the leadership. But when you sit there as an employee and you try to figure out what it means, you know, I have so
Adam Pierno 12:58
many you have the breakdown. During the break room poster looks great, but what do I do in it? How do I Why are there so many commas and semicolons in it, just give me give me the one sentence breakdown of what what is what are we trying to say here?
Scott Goodson 13:11
I mean some, some are really powerful. A lot of them are credibly even now, yeah. They’re, you know, do good, or we’re going to try to help people. You know, it literally is, you know, they can get also incredibly overthought and and many times it can be greedy, they can be purpose washing, where company stands for one thing and they try to say something that is completely unrelated to what they do. Yeah, made a great case in point is like, Planters peanut came out with a nutrition based purpose. And then they came out and said that the reason that they just did they came out and said that they To recruit women for equal pay, because not paying women, the same as men is nuts. I noticed that how that connects with a purpose on nutrition. So, you know, there’s there’s a lot of issues in terms of understanding what the purpose is and how you apply it in a day to day basis. And so we work with them to take their purpose and activate them.
Adam Pierno 14:26
Yeah, I think it’s in the case of Planters there, you just want if if your purpose is either equal pay or nutrition, then the things you’re doing line up against one of those things. So that it all makes sense to people and you’re not all over the board. It doesn’t seem like well, now they’re just filling in whatever issue of the weekends.
Scott Goodson 14:47
Yeah, because purpose you know, there’s a lot of misunderstandings on purpose. Some people feel purpose is your marketing strategy purposes, not a marketing strategy. purposes should be at the core of what is should be at the core of your business strategy,
Adam Pierno 15:01
right it is for everything you’re doing. So you’re so in the case of a nut manufacturer, a nut CPG, they’re looking at their suppliers, they’re looking at the partners, they’re looking at their retailers and making sure that everybody in that chain supports that same purpose in the same to the way that they can influence it. So that it’s all lined up versus this is what we’re about. But then the first deal you make has nothing has not impacted or does not change that purpose at all.
Scott Goodson 15:29
Exactly. So maybe, okay, suppliers, their strategy, their strategies, their purposes, nutrition, maybe their campaign is all about why they you know, they develop the salt free nut and they teach Americans not to salted nuts because it’s not healthy. You know, that That to me is a better way of associate them dealing with, you know, pay inequality which has nothing to do with nuts or nutrition.
Adam Pierno 16:00
I mean, there’s a wiggly waggly way that I’m sure some copywriter could figure out a line that would connect them but it’s not connected.
Scott Goodson 16:07
Exactly. So that’s kind of what we do. My my background I kind of we did enter. My background on how purpose came about is I’m originally born in Canada. After I graduated from university, I went to work in Japan. My dad did the World Exposition in Montreal in 67. Then he helped Japanese in 1970. And I went and was working in Japan for a little bit. And then after that, I meeting my wife in Swedish and moved to Stockholm and started my career working. working there. My first client was Jambor, the tennis player, we did the launch of his fashion line. It’s like in the in the heyday. And then I worked with Erickson, who at the time was 60% Was mobile phones and that was my main client, and had the fortune of working with some wonderful people traveling the world launching cell phones in basically every country on the planet. And And then from there, other Swedish companies ended up owning an agency in Stockholm, co owning an agency in Stockholm, which was sold to publicists, and then started StrawberryFrog back in 99. In Amsterdam, with my wife, she runs the operations and I run the product of this business. We have a management team and some partners now and we moved to New York back in the early 2000s. And our offices are in the Empire State Building in New York City. We haven’t been in unfortunately.
Adam Pierno 17:49
Scott Goodson 17:51
Beautiful view They’re actually a wonderful organization having had other offices in Manhattan. I can tell That landlords are really tricky. A lot and the Empire State Building our class act really wonderful group. Yeah.
Adam Pierno 18:10
Why the name? Where did where does the name come from?
Scott Goodson 18:13
So when we started StrawberryFrog wanted to be, we had a couple of innovative ideas. First, we wanted to create movements for brands, not just advertising. That was you felt it was a big, new, fresh idea to bring to the world. The second thing was we wanted to be a small group that worked with we didn’t want to have a studio inside store. We probably were a media company. We wanted to work with studios across the world. So we had a studio in Sydney, Australia, New Zealand, we had one in San Francisco, we had one in Amsterdam. We had one in Paris, and we basically out sourced all non core, strategic and creative parts of the traditional marketing communications advertising business. So we built up Probably about 1000 freelancers around the world as well as small companies. And we work with that to build large global campaigns. And we were able to control the quality, strategy creative out of our offices and Amsterdam. And as a result of that, he wanted a name that represented sort of the opposite of the dinosaur. And at the time, there was an article in Ad Age called the big corporate global agencies, dinosaurs, and we thought the opposite of that would be the frog. So we started looking after we saw that there the rarest frog in the world is a Red Frog with blue lakes. A tiny little frog in the Amazon is actually poisonous called Dan debate, Dan debates. Amelia is the Latin name, which is the StrawberryFrog and it’s the rarest frog. It’s lethal, so highly effective. It’s red, so it’s a rebel with legs. It looks like it’s got jeans. So it had all symbol for us as a company.
Adam Pierno 20:05
That’s pretty funny. The jeans are nice touch. Did you have a dress code on for on day one, you had the dress code figured out?
Scott Goodson 20:13
Yeah, we had a dress code and, and we wanted to go challenge the big corporate agencies for huge global clients. So right from the beginning, we said we can do everything huge clients need one. We just do it differently in the big corporate agencies. And that was really coming from the culture of Sweden where I’d grown up and work with these huge Swedish multinationals who, by the way, hated working with big corporate agencies, because they’re super bureaucratic, expensive, and they preferred small teams that were highly flexible, creative, innovative, and can travel and implement strategies across the globe. So that was basically what’s probably fraud. Okay.
Adam Pierno 20:51
Yeah, I mean, that’s the advantage. If you’re a large enterprise, you want an agency that can do the opposite of what you can do if you have to have 20 minutes To get the brief to the agency, and then they need to have 20 meetings to review the brief and come back to you with questions there. You’re two years out from creating a print app. Yeah, when you’re in a big matrix organization, you need someone fast and, and quick to take the input and process it and turn it into something meaningful, fast. Otherwise, you’re just it’s, you’re creating a really complex set of problems.
Scott Goodson 21:28
I mean, the issue we tried to solve or let’s say the unmet need we were trying to solve when we started StrawberryFrog was the same issue that’s been around 10,000 years since, you know, business businesses started in the Fertile Crescent, which is if you can do it smarter, better and faster and cheaper. People will want to, you know, work with you and if you can, as you said, work faster. You know, in the days when we Started starting from 20 years ago, it took these big corporate agencies 18 months to get a campaign. Exactly. Can you imagine that today? Waiting 18 months to get a campaign to market it would be insane. But that
Adam Pierno 22:14
was that would look different, the media would look different. Everything
Scott Goodson 22:17
in the world would change now in 18 months 20 twice. So, you know, we said we can do it faster, we can do it better, because we have all these different talents all over the world that we pull in on a project basis, much like research universities or Hollywood. You know sKg DreamWorks are a small production studio versus MGM they are able to move much faster. So because we have that type of structure framework, we can work better, we can work cheaper, and we can work and we can work faster.
Adam Pierno 22:56
Scott, explain what’s it what makes it a movement. What’s separates a movement from a campaign or a movement from even from a purpose.
Scott Goodson 23:05
So, movement thinking is basically starting with what is what is it that people are passionate about care about out there in the world that’s that you can tie back to your brand purpose. So instead of starting with traditional advertising, which is starting with positioning, you know, we’re going to go out there and position the brand, and then come up with a creative way, push that creative idea out there, and hope people see that creativity and engage with it. Movement is absolutely 100 it’s 180 degree, opposite direction, you first go out and understand what’s going on in the world that’s relevant to the brand and then figure out a way of tying it back to the brand purpose. And by doing so you’re highly relevant to a huge group of people very quickly and you are able to talk less about product and talk More about the issues that they’re concerned about in their lives. It’s open ended. So it reaches a much wider audience than traditional advertising which tends to be highly targeted, and highly reliant on paid out paid media. movements are sustainable. They, they live media investments. advertising is traditional, typically, traditional media movements are all types of platforms. They could be a speech, it could be social media, it could be PR, it could be an event is total experience. There’s a number of reasons why movements are relevant in today’s world, even inside companies, if you’re a CEO and you’re trying to reinvent a company or transform an organization, movement is a much better tool for you then a mandate a mandate where you you demand compliance today just doesn’t sit very well with this new A group of employees, they much prefer to have an idea given to them where they’re able to participate, add their creativity to make the world a better place, and to be told jump and expect that they’re going to say yes or yes, men jump, how high. So movements really do provide a lot of benefits, both from a marketing perspective and and also as a change management perspective.
Adam Pierno 25:24
It’s more action based. I mean, it’s more about doing the organization doing things that will either generate that are true to the purpose and that will either generate PR or intention, or at least align the company and remind the internal team that this is what we believe in. here’s proof that we believe in.
Scott Goodson 25:46
Exactly. When we start creating movement. The question we asked, we want answers. What do we want people to do? versus traditional advertising is What do we want? To inspire people to think. And it’s a different, it’s a different starting point. If you are focused on action, then the questions you asked to get there are different than the questions you ask in a traditional advertising brief.
Adam Pierno 26:15
Where does this so a brand comes to you and they say, we have this purpose. We want to we want to work with StrawberryFrog to turn it into a movement. Where does it usually fall down? If it’s where do you see or have you seen over 20 years that an organization is not able to build the movement or execute the movement?
Scott Goodson 26:39
So decided to send your question, okay, you’re asking me, whether
Adam Pierno 26:44
what kind of organizations can’t bring that to life? You know, they they come to the table and they say they they want they’re buying into this idea of creating a movement, but for whatever reason, they just internally they can’t get the energy around it. I’m wondering what some of those leading reasons that you’ve had. Are there if there have been any kind of themes or? I don’t.
Scott Goodson 27:09
I don’t think of any examples that come to mind. I mean, the only example I can think of is when you are developing a movement. So I’ll give you an example. We worked with Emirates Airlines, which is the world’s leading airline, we help them grow to become, excuse me, we help them grow to become from, you know, regional, air based Dubai based airline to becoming perceived as one of the best songs on the planet, if not the world’s leading airline. And the movement we launched, was actually to solve an internal issue. The issue was the airline was growing incredibly rapidly. It was like Google. They had $67 billion in aviation aircraft underwater. They had the world’s largest order of Airbus A 380s. And, you know, yeah, Emirates is a very small country with not many citizens. So they had to bring people in from all four corners of the world to work this airline. So the movement we created was to make the world smaller. And by doing so, overcome misconceptions and misunderstandings between people. It’s actually the same strategy Delta’s using right now to see they’re not now but before the crowbar says they started running ads that are very much in line with what we did when we when we launched the movement for Emirates back in 2011. But it was intended as an internal cultural movement for the organizational staff, flight attendants, pilots and so forth ground crews. But then we use it as an external movement to engage travelers to engage with a company whose vision was to make the world smaller place in order to connect you with other types of other human beings. And that we felt that was a positive thing that Emirates was doing to contribute to humanity. over time. And as the management changed in the organization, there was a desire to revert to more traditional, what I described as traditional airline advertising, showcasing kind of food that served on the airline showcasing sizes of the seats that they had on the Airbus meeting, the entertainment system and so forth. I think in that particular example, I think it’s an example when when leadership changes, the vision changes often. And it can be because there’s a business challenge at hand. In the case of Emirates, they had so many airline aircraft, they wanted to make sure they were attracting the right kind of audience, right kind of traveler and I think they felt at that time, they needed to shift the strategy and move to more of a traditional airline marketing campaign, which is fine. And I think that that’s really the only one I can think of to be honest with you were we there was a real change from this. See the movement strategy, although they kept using Hello, tomorrow the line for Mrs. For even though they changed that the marketing strategy?
Adam Pierno 30:09
Yeah, I think they wanted to hold on to the position but they they wanted to go a little more traditional and show off some of the assets. And yeah,
Scott Goodson 30:17
Adam Pierno 30:20
That’s interesting. Yeah, I think leadership is almost always the catalyst for the movement, maybe not the genesis of it. But leadership has a big decision when, yes, we’re going to let this go, we’re going to support this, I’m going to put resources to it. Or “that’s a nice idea.” And no resources go to it. And it can’t go from somebody’s PowerPoint to a internal or external movement without some sort of light being shined on it.
Scott Goodson 30:48
Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, leadership is so critical. It’s invisible yet its effect on organizations. is so good. important these days, you know, many companies feel like their best years are behind them, you know, majority economists still companies that were invented back in the 1950s earlier and when culture is going against you, everything is more difficult. So if you’re a leader of a company, how do you how do you lead in 2020? You know, how do you lead through the coronavirus? How do you lead in, even before the coronavirus? And I think, you know, organizations that are trying to become adaptive and innovative. Leadership is so crucial and, you know, helping to transform take your your strategy, your business strategy, transforming that strategy demands new behaviors for leaders that are almost the opposite of traditional corporate culture where, you know, the focus is typically on operational excellence and efficiency, right? This case, it’s not about that it’s about inspiration. It’s about engaging people. It’s about giving them steps to change and showing them a future. And that can’t be done through, as I said to you traditional leadership, where you order people or demand compliance or mandates that come from the top of your organization. It really lives in the collective hearts of your people and got it got to figure out a way of engaging with those, those hearts and minds and you know, you you cannot dictate trust in today’s world, you can’t dictate motivation can’t dictate creativity, but you can when you introduce a movement inside your company does and and we’ve used that very effectively over the years to help leaders change their companies. A great case study was in a recent Harvard Business Review. There’s a business there’s a study out article called puts purpose at the core of your strategy and what and the case in that article is company called Mahindra, which is one of the most powerful companies in India. And we worked with on Mahindra who’s the incredible chairman of that company and the whole leadership team to launch a move to launch a purpose and a movement called rise and rise today’s used by their HR department as a means of evaluating all their employees. When it comes to compensation performance. It’s what they use when they recruit people. It is used in the market communications and innovation drive is really, that article is quite fascinating, if you look it up really shows you how purpose and a movement can be used to transform your organization. And the net result is the company went from a $14 billion dollar company we started to now hundred billion dollars. At least they were really up until recently and very good. Recently they launched a two point and this is really quite extraordinary. The movement was all about tackling business challenges that Mahindra felt were ahead of them or limiting their potential, which were their ability to think outside the box, their ability to use their ingenuity. So in India, they have a phrase called do God which means using a lack of resource using your ingenuity, with a lack of resources in order to create great leaps forward in innovation. It’s a Hindu word for that and keeps your
Adam Pierno 34:41
You’re using your limitations as a as a tool.
Scott Goodson 34:44
Correct and using ingenuity in that sense. So that was part of their culture, but they saw it as a as a in some respects, they saw it as a strength but in some respects it thought is a weakness because they weren’t as resource rich as American companies or British company. Secondly, by nature of being based in India, they felt they were not as not as great as US corporations or European corporations. So there was a confidence issue. And thirdly, they needed a higher purpose to drive them out in the world to drive some form of societal change. So rise was all about using your energy using your ingenuity, and accepting no limitations. It was that you were second class, you were not second class to anybody, no limitations, using your ingenuity to drive positive change, and the positive change was in in society. So rise, which was the motto of the movement was all about those three pillars? And, and it is extraordinary how that strategy has helped leadership drive that company. And a great example of where that’s ended up is there now the world leader in tractors, they just launched something called the Battista which is A $2.5 million electric supercar designed by a company called Pina Farina based in vilonia, which is, as you may be familiar, that design company that designs all the Ferraris, they hit or acquire that company, and then call the new electric car they launched the pinna Farina Battista, that would never have happened if it wasn’t for their new purpose of movement that gave them the confidence, no limitations, driving positive change to make that come with any pack. So it’s just a great example of how you can change the world with this type of strategic paper that we’re talking about. Do you think as you just described that I
Adam Pierno 36:47
I wondered if the idea of we tend to celebrate visionary leadership. But as I’m processing what you’re saying, I’m thinking about how pragmatic the description of rock Really is it’s we can only do, what can be done with the resources we have. So we have to be clever about how we deploy those resources is one of the most pragmatic and practical pieces of advice to elevate someone and give them freedom to think differently about the tools, the the assets that they have that lead to something so unexpected as the electric car that they’ve that they’re launching. But a visionary if if there was a visionary CEO who in you know, 2017 at a tractor company would have said in three years, we’re going to work and figure out how to do this electric supercar. People would have said, I don’t know. I don’t know Mahindra. Now that makes sense. Yeah. How do you how do you balance the visionary and the pragmatic?
Scott Goodson 37:55
Well, part of the process and products that we sell are coaching. So, in the case of Mahindra, we actually spent two years working with our executive leadership, going through coaching and role playing, where we worked with them through this movement idea, and how they could use that in order to change the way they think change the way they engage with their colleagues change the way they engage with younger people and older people. So it was really about a cultural change inside the organization, which you cannot achieve unless you do those types of programs. You can’t just take an idea and lob it out there. That’s why you have issues like the CEO of a big packaged goods company, going out and hiring DCG to come up with purpose strategies for your products, and then handing those strategies to marketers and say, go and use those in ad campaigns. Because those brand marketers are being renewed rated and evaluated from a performance perspective. On how many cans of soda they can sell, right, and they’re not being renumeration for how well their purpose is being implemented. And they haven’t been trained to think about how their purpose should be used to drive positive change. They just been given a document and said, Take this purpose strategy and use it when you do your app, right. And the net result of that is you get these just to get this disconnect. So purpose very rarely actually gets executed. brand managers scratch their heads, whenever they hear it roll their eyes, and the CEO sitting there going, why the hell is not, why are we activating this thing? So it gets hung up on a beautiful in a beautiful frame behind his desk or her desk, or in some incredibly beautifully designed PowerPoint, in a shelf in someone’s office, but never, ever used as an action tool.
Adam Pierno 39:54
Right. never brought to life in the way that was intended.
Scott Goodson 39:57
Yeah, that’s the real issue.
Adam Pierno 39:59
All right. One more question for you, are you bringing back Uprising?
Scott Goodson 40:04
I am actually working on a new book together with Chip Walker, who’s our head of strategy, which will be the next iteration of movement think. So Uprising, How to Build a Brand and cChange the World by Sparking Culture Movements was a best seller when we launched when I launched it back in 2012. This is the perfect time in this quarantine period to actually be writing so I’m actually writing an hour a day and Chip is too, and we’re going to be looking at some of the things we’ve talked about today. For example, how can CEOs use movement think to lead companies today? How can you use moving things to foster collaboration between departments? How can you use move and think to think even broader than that in terms of equity financing other ways of engaging with the financial community and investment community. We’re looking at it also from more innovative tools for marketing, communications, how brand managers, chief marketing officers, you know, Chief of experience, leaders can use movement as a means of driving growth, driving positive change in the future. And I think coming out of this, this extremely trying and difficult time we’re going through at the moment, I think people are going to be looking even harder at strategies that are going to drive positive change, because we’re going to be yearning for it, I think, coming out of this more than we were going into this.
Adam Pierno 41:49
And I think we’re going to be poised to to help companies out there who have that same point of view. Yeah, and the timing is is likely perfect. Because each each person has a chance to really fine tune their beliefs and their own individual purpose as we’re all somewhat quieted, I mean, I’m distracting myself as guilty of distracting myself as much as possible, but reflection is still seeping in. So I think that’s probably true for, for everybody, when when this is over and we come out of it, it will either lead to a global interest in betterment and self improvement and community improvement or hedonistic explosion of you know, it’ll either be New Year’s Day for six months or New Year’s Eve or January 1 for six months.
Scott Goodson 42:44
Yeah, I think, I mean, people have been seeing these extraordinary images over the last few days like dolphins coming into the canals of Venice and animals coming back into the forest. You know, the night sky not being Or even the day sky not having any streaks of jets that this noise is gone, the pollution, co2 emissions are down. There’s a lot of things that are happening that people are noticing. Yeah. And I and I hope that the biggest lesson of all is that people who are in positions of leading companies realize that if you drive positive change for your customers and your employees, it’s actually in your self interest. If you actually remove if you don’t poison your, your employees, if you don’t poison your customers, they actually live longer and buy more stuff.
Adam Pierno 43:40
So it’s actually your interest. It seems self explanatory, but it is clearly American Commerce has taught us that that is not self explanatory.
Scott Goodson 43:50
Well, hopefully that’ll be a you know, one of the things that we will learn through this this difficult time. I think we are certainly being forced to question everything. And you know what, for whatever reason, the strongest, most powerful richest country in the world couldn’t get their act together with months of advance warning. And we’re seeing right now in New York City, doctors pleading they have no equipment. They people have no ventilators. It’s a complete mess. And it’s it’s unbelievable. That this is happening right now. And I think at the very least people, and the surge has yet to start in New York City. Yeah, it’s good to come over the next 14 to 21 days. Same is gonna happen to other parts of the country. And I think that’s gonna force people to realize that the system that we’ve inherited, is not working, that there needs to be a better way. And I think that’s good. And that and that includes people who are responsible for strategic thinking, in competence, and I think there are lessons to be learned in movements out there popular movements be used to understand the needs of people that can be used to drive innovation that can be used to help prove collaboration, new ideas and better ideas and certainly hope so.
Adam Pierno 45:21
As do I, Scott, I want to thank you very much for for carving out some time for this conversation. I know we schedule it way before all this got crazy out there in the world. So I appreciate you joining me even despite that, I know what you’re what you’re working on right now. And I appreciate you making time for this.
Scott Goodson 45:40
Well, it’s a pleasure to be on your show. And despite what’s going on, it’s nice to keep going keep doing what we’re doing. Keep our minds busy. Anyone is listening to this if you if you are able, please go to #HCWshoutout Sorry, hashtag HCW shout out, which is that shout out to healthcare workers. And just give your love and appreciation for them because these guys are working 24 seven, it’s absolutely insane. They need all of his support right now. And thank you for having me.
Adam Pierno 46:17
Thanks, Scott, it’s been great talking to you.
Scott Goodson 46:19
All right, take care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai