Fortitude: What It Takes To Survive Great Transformation


We are currently working with a large client to help them transform their marketing function. It’s an enormous undertaking and the CMO is on point, with several members of her leadership team involved. (Note: CMO’s and their leadership teams are always under pressure. But that is especially true in this time of COVID. Revenues are down. Cuts in budget and resources have come or are coming. It’s an enormous company, with many moving parts: corporately, culturally, and politically).

This week, as we moved toward making an important decision on a major initiative, the word “Fortitude” came up.

What is “Fortitude”?

Definition: “Mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously”.

Perhaps this year above all, this has been a resounding word for all of us.

In the world of Marketing Transformation, “change” is relatively easy. “Transformation” is difficult. The organization may be turned upside down. Processes will be changed. People are going to be upset. But the transformation is often necessary.

The typical engagement Flock gets hired for can take many paths: Organizational Design; new “Ways of Working” (process); talent assessment and optimization; and more.

To get it all done an organization needs Fortitude. And a plan.

A well-designed, thoroughly thought out plan; one that has been informed by data (both quantitative and qualitative) and analysis; a plan that addresses both the current and future needs of the organization (Flock always suggests looking 3-5 years out); one that truly transforms the way marketing functions; and finally, a well thought out plan for introducing the changes to the organization: training, measurement, optimization.

The hardest part?

Putting the plan in place and sticking to it.

It will be rocky. You will get push back. Some in the organization will be upset.

So Fortitude can be a great word to remember.

As we come to the end of a rocky year, and especially at a time of Thanksgiving for many of our clients and colleagues, we reflect on and feel grateful for the countless large and small displays of fortitude we all witnessed this year in many aspects of our lives.

We wish you a happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Flock.