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  • Accountability Then Credibility

    “Sometimes you have to risk it all, by throwing the ball long to save yourself.”

    Sometimes getting spanked does change you: when you wipe away the tears, you find out that your are indeed accountable and that it was you who messed this thing up, and now – what’s the way forward: how do you restore the relationships that are  damaged?

    Dominos pizza had to lose its way to find its best self. Their new ad campaign, which stresses the transparency of their efforts to create a better pizza product – was “high risk.” Dominos took a tremendous chance, because the competition in the pizza market is ruthless: don’t forget frozen pizzas – and French bread pizza and the like, so they were embracing a set of vulnerabilities, which might determine the rest of their business life, because if the gamble did not pay off – it might have meant the end for Dominos.

    Dominos learned that it had to make improvements and that it also had to be robust and visible in letting its customers know it was making those improvements – so they threw the ball long: they created an ad campaign, where the customer was able to decide, in real-time and in front of millions of television viewers, if they had indeed found their voice again. Dominos took an unprecedented risk and now they are off life-support: sometimes you have to throw the Hail-Mary – and every once in a while – well, you know how it ends.

    What I think Dominos learned and all Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals, can learn as well, is sometimes you mess up – mess up big, but you have to reset and reconcile the mistake. You have to make the mistake an act of liberation, not a framework for ineffectiveness. Mistakes are good: they have a way of telling you what your customers aren’t saying — what your competition is too magnanimous to tell you about some gaps they have noticed within your operations – so embrace the mistake and turn it into a triumph.

    Dominos put itself out there: admitted its negligence and the public responded. Customers noticed and applauded a company that fell out of favor because of its product – doing everything in its power to get that right — and to do it in unvarnished fashion with those same customers as a demanding focus group.

    There’s something to be said for putting your backside on the line – I think people respect it – I know they do. How will you recover from your misstep – tell us about it.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Gamechangers


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