Crises lead to difficult decisions that would not have been so easy to make in good times. Why? Clearly because in good times it is difficult to sell uncomfortable decisions. Right? That’s not true. All you need is a good strategy that you can stick to when the road threatens to fork. Willi, the seahorse, my Love Brand, was at such a fork in the past episode of the »Horse Feed«. He chose a direction. Will his exit strategy work? Has the Love Brand chosen the right way out of crisis?

The secret of live cycle analysis:
You arise, you live, you grow,
you shrink, you die.
And the comes the resurrection.

Who invented it?

My dear fans and friends. Before I tell you what the Greeks and the Franks have to do with my future, an important note on my own behalf: Attention, the following contribution to opinion formation contains product placements.

What should I say? The godfather was really hard advertising for me. You also have to do advertising right, you know?

Did you know that he has Franconian roots? That he’s on you-and-you with the Christ child? I did not know that. But it helps tremendously to understand him. Not linguistically, but once again in terms of content.

What I took with me after he finally noticed that it was serious about me, about us? That the Love Brand threatens to be forgotten? That we’re about to starve to death?

Um, well, there is a difference in getting or having a crisis. I only really get the crisis because you humans invented crises – and because you obviously didn’t know what it meant, you thought up a lot of alarm around this word. In principle, you humans are very flexible. You can also first raise alarm and then call it a crisis. I, Willi, the seahorse, I only fight with the consequences of your crisis-making.

Self-made. That’s a catchphrase that people like to use when they bring themselves into play as initiators and want to praise them in particular. I have heard this word from the godfather more than once. Exactly twice today, to be precise.
The first time in connection with the term crisis. My godfather says if you want to decide how to deal with a crisis, first ask yourself where it comes from. In this context there is the »Homemade Crisis«. A challenge initiated with a lot of zeal and diligence, with a lot of sensitivity and care, which people put themselves over to have even more reasons afterwards to deal exclusively with themselves. Sounds like heavy food from Mommy’s kitchen, doesn’t it?

It’s a difference to have a crisis
or get one.
You can tell from communication.

Do it with love instead of hard work

The second time I heard the »homemade« indistinctly smacking. It fell as my godfather bit off a piece of gingerbread, grinning with relish. It sounded kind of warm.

So »homemade« is made with diligence or with love. It is easy. Just like looking back. Because what happened is easy to analyze.

It is now difficult at the fork where we, my team and I unanimously decided to face the crisis. Because our fan loss and the associated famine was not homemade. That came extremely suddenly and surprisingly.

»What do you have good, homemade things in your luggage?« My godfather had asked me. »A brand with a success story,« I replied.

Once again an imaginary door opened for me in an imaginary space. Inside was a very real godfather with a probably real story.

»This gingerbread comes from the first gingerbread vending machine in Germany. It is in Schwabach, near Nuremberg. It enables a small bakery, the »Schleckerei«, to offer its favorite product around the clock for the first time all year round. A product that is usually only available during Christmas is also available in this vending machine in summer editions. An absolutely new, brilliant and homemade idea.«

Whatever it was with this gingerbread in his hand, the godfather didn’t stop talking.

»A short time after the first gingerbread machine had its fans, new fan groups came up: those who wanted to industrialize this idea. Those who in their vision set up thousands of gingerbread vending machines all over Germany and want to make summer gingerbread a mass product. The ones who certify your profits, successes and rapid growth if you just let them do it.«

I know, I thought. When I started to be successful as a Love Brand, I had such encounters en masse. Oh, how many knew back then how I could do better, how faster, higher, further.

»To date, there is only one of these gingerbread vending machines. Do you know why? Because the »Schleckerei« has the courage to stick to their original philosophy: they want to offer homemade gingerbread and use the vending machine to provide high quality to their fans. They emotionalized their product instead of industrializing it. But the most important thing: They are sold out every day and their satisfied customers praise them for their consistently high quality.«

All crisis are homemade.
Like the Love Brand recipes,
on the other hand:
Philosophy and strategy.

Remember instead of speculating

Less is more. It’s an attitude that definitely takes courage. Less profit, more satisfaction – it’s not that easy, man! Especially not in the team. Success spoils you. With regard to the culture in the team, the same mechanism works as for the monkeys and the banana on the ladder.

Hold on, that’s right. Was that the intention? Was that our idea at the beginning?

»What you said is true, godfather. The Love Brand has enough homemade recipes in its luggage. We have a clear philosophy, a clear strategy. Together we are unbeatable. As a team and as a brand. Time to remember.«

I turned away with pride and wanted to leave the godfather to his gingerbread. Or the other way around. Even before my fins drove me towards the team, a doubt struck me. I turned back.

»What if you humans do bullshit again?« I turned to the godfather.

He, who had finished the gingerbread in the meantime, understood me immediately. He knew that people are unpredictable. He understood that courageous cooperation alone, or consistent pursuit of the strategy, is by no means a protection against the next crisis. On the contrary, he knew that the next crisis would certainly come. Pretty much homemade, I would even say.

»Who knows what future brings. I’m not an oracle.«

Then he should get one, I told him. I now need to be sure that the strategy is paying off. No matter whether we want to do everything differently or persistently stick to our previous path. I need someone with reliable forecasts now. No theorists, please.

What followed was history in theory. Oracles, as in ancient Greece, had not existed for over 1,600 years, just as there was no evidence that everything that the oracle predicted occurred. Crap, I thought. Man discovered seahorses only about 500 years ago – which does not mean that we could not have been in the Gulf of Corinth in the times of the oracles to learn more about our future. There we have it again with the knowledge transfer – the ancient Greeks would have needed social media.
Or a godfather. Messenger of the gods Hermes has in any case only partially prevailed.

Sustainability is a cycle

»Life is a cycle: you arise, you live, you grow, you shrink, you die, you arise, you live, you grow, you shrink, you die. The art is not to die earlier than to live,« laughed the oracle godfather.

He also had a few vivid examples ready for this: »Do you know what all the plastic waste in our world has led to, among other things?«

»That we die.«

»This is unfortunately true. But because we don’t want that, we invented something: the unpacked shops. Shops where you can buy everything without packaging. A business idea in the interest of the environment.«

»You want to tell me now that you humans first invent plastic waste and then invent the abolition?«

»At some point, even plastic waste was once rocket science. For packaging industry, which is suddenly bad if it still produces plastic packaging. How long do you think the next development will survive?«

»Until something threatens to die because of this?«

»Exactly. Do you know what currently costs us the most energy?«

»Not to die?«

»You could see it that way. No, I actually mean energy production itself. Most of our energy is needed right there. Physically. We invented combustion engines, we invented exhaust gas. Once sold as an innovation and engine of our economy, industry is now stuttering and people are wheezing. So we are using energy in order to be able to use our energy again more sensibly in the future, because otherwise either industry or human beings will die.«

No fun, fans. You are very happy to be constantly busy yourself on your side of the window, right? I always thought you were intelligent and capable of learning. Are you just a bit stupid, huh?

»Everything sounds homemade. Time to invent something right. Something long-lived. Something sustainable,« I remarked confidently.

»We can do homemade. And if nobody helps us, we use computers. For example, if we want to fool ourselves, we use homemade artificial intelligence that does it for us at the push of a button. Some software is used to generate money, which we then pay out as success bonuses. If the premiums are lower than last year, we speak of a crisis, justify drastic consequences and appeal to people to think again. So that the premium will surely increase again.«

»You humans really are crazy,« a well known point of view meanwhile, which I often and gladly share. Apart from the fact that you are so much about money. About the bonuses or what you call it.

No wonder you don’t notice that seaweed, the fastest growing plant in the world, grows by 30 centimeters in my aquarium every day, is harvested and shipped both as food and as bio-fuel. The stuff is very versatile. But well, we didn’t have an innovation workshop for renewable energies today, but a crisis meeting.

Strengthen your immune system

»Okay, okay. There is no guarantee that you survive a crisis. A homemade recipe for preparation may strengthen the body’s defenses, but it is far from saving lives. If that has not yet become clear today: The Love Brand is still in a crisis. Do I really have to reinvent myself before I die?«

»In your case, I don’t think so, Willi. As long as we work together, the strategy for success in the crisis is the same as before and after.«

How many life cycles can a Love Brand actually take? How many seahorses?

Probably depends on how many of them are homemade …

Those who courageously pursue a chosen path together will shape sustainability. Of course, there are doubts as to whether you have made the right decision, whether the path you are taking takes you to your destination or whether it is not time to go completely new ways. Many crises are homemade, which is why crisis management or crisis communication has really become everyday business these days. So actually nothing that requires extraordinary measures: Something new always arises somewhere because something old has become perishable.