80% Happens on the Road

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It’s so much to fun see a great movie, attend a unique trade show, or cheer at an exciting game. But how often do we consider the serious time, money, and passion that were invested from start to “show time?” And what second thought is given to post-production uses of that product?

From a business vantage, we need to look at how the 5-90-5 rule applies. As a producer and a consultant for companies who want to benefit from well-developed marketing strategy, I can say unequivocally that too many business leaders fall into the trap of putting 5% of their efforts up front into the critical planning, vision-setting, promotion, and logistics. They offer 5% to the equally critical follow-up and application. And they invest a whopping 90% into the shiny picture in the middle.

For instance, you’re holding a conference. You may feature great speakers, choose a fabulous venue, and compile great information. But what if no one crafts a sellable reason for those speakers to be all together in the same event? Did anyone consider the appropriate accommodations of the venue? Is the weighty content packaged in a way that really calls to action? And if you have no plan for leveraging the outcome of the event, what was the point of it?

This is where the rubber of faith and leadership hit the road called production. It’s where 80% of the planting and sowing happens, the getting there and then going somewhere afterwards. It’s the process that cultivates relationships or a brand. It’s what most people don’t see. And since you can’t fake it, you had better love it.

Over decades as a consultant, I find that my biggest challenge is not the market. My biggest fight is with the “can’t” mentality inside the four walls of the company. And as the producer of whatever it is, if you don’t have a vision, the faith and passion for that vision, and the leadership ability to reshape a 5-90-5 investment into buy-in for a 40-20-40 investment, you risk becoming an action-monster just doing what everyone else tells you to do and falling way short of a potential mark.

Business production is like nursing. Some people look at it from a distance and think, what a nice, cushy, supporting role. Take a closer look, and you will find the intense demands intolerable for anyone susceptible to the sight of blood. All balls are in the air, and your faith, passion, and leadership are responsible for keeping them there while you make sure no live wires cross each other on the ground.

If you want to drive in the producer’s lane, burn rubber or get off the road.