Last Updated on 24 May 2010

Each week Tom Fishburne publishes a comic panel as part of his Brand Camp series. And each week I simply want to republish what he’s written; he is always spot-on with his observations.

This week’s strip, titled “Shiny New Thing”, highlights a weakness of so many companies – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. I’ve been calling it “Shiny Object Syndrome.”

[Click for Larger View]

Tom explains why it happens…

It’s particularly easy to get distracted when the going gets tough on your core plan… Whether it’s a new technology, a new product, or a new customer, falling in love with the Shiny New Thing can take a team off course. It’s easy to get enthusiastic about the promise of something new than the hard slog of what you’re already doing…”

One quality that makes great companies “great” is their ability to work through that ‘hard slog.’ They do what it takes to “do it right” and finishing what they’ve started. They have sticktoitivity.

It happens often. A relatively successful product or program becomes boring to the manager. They neglect it, don’t promote it, and they let it move to the bottom shelf. The manager continues to be complacent and allows inventory and replenishment to become unreliable. Of course, customers aren’t going to purchase a hard to find, poorly stocked product – so they stop buying. The product manger gets to blame the customer and “lack of demand” instead of “I lost interest.”

Sure, products and programs run their course, customer needs change, and should be replaced by something more appropriate. On the other hand, you need to have the patience – and attention – to stick out your strategy.

Don’t allow Shiny Object Syndrome or ADHD to distract you.

Artwork © Tom Fishburne