Tuesday, 6 October 2009

20 years old. So why do we have an Anniversary crisis to cope with?


It didn’t escape our notice that, as we approached our 20th birthday in August, we had a few difficult decisions to take. Which I suppose, as adults, shouldn’t present too many problems but it has become symptomatic of a life spent in a shifting landscape, ducking and diving, trying to flesh out an approachable personality and identity.

And that’s hard for a small business, especially one that opened as Selling Ideas the very day the headline read “it’s official, we’re in a recession”. There’s a beguiling symmetry there don’t you think?

Back in 1989, we could have been accused of recklessness, and indeed, the early years were tough as we learned to balance the rigours of running the new Selling Ideas business, with the needs of a demanding client base. But we soldiered on and we grew, putting on weight and muscle in all the right areas, developing our vocabulary, learning how to walk confidently amongst our peers. The family album had lots of attractive portraits and group pictures as we gazed, clear eyed, beside our friends and colleagues, at the flashing bulb.

We were standing tall and learning how to work well and play with others. And we were becoming independent.

But, like all adolescents, we weren’t 100% sure of who we really were. Life was so much easier in the early days, when all anyone wanted to talk about was good ideas, and we had plenty of those to sell.

With maturity comes a fresh set of beliefs and intellectual fog. We weren’t afraid of the questions we were being asked or where those questions came from – and our world had clearly become a more consumerist and commercial place. What we were scared of was our ability to consistently come up with the right answers – because that meant we had become something else, something quite different from the persona we knew and had grown comfortable, arguably too comfortable, with. Idealogy had become a comprehensive vision.

So we changed, and in all honesty, we’ll continue to adapt as the world changes around us. Today’s incarnation as Idealogy may be quite different again in another 5 years, but that’s life and, as we all know, change is good!

Now, back to the crisis!

Is a 20th anniversary a China or a Platinum, because that will make a huge difference to the party theme? Are we going to drink tea from a saucer or are we all going to show up in blonde wigs? Decisions, decisions…….

Answers and comments please.

Posted by Idealogy