Yesterday I’ve stumbled upon the first Volkswagen’s TV commercial of the after-Dieselgate scandal.
At first sight, there is nothing different from the previous campaign: a car, its technical specification, the unique selling proposition and, final, a company full-screen logo. But, as they say, the devil is in the details.
The commercial only mentioned the car model’s name without any reference to the word “Volkswagen” during the whole duration and, when the logo-moment came, neither the name of the car-maker nor the claim “Das Auto” went on screen.
Volkswagen’s strategy to limit the lose of its market share, thus, seems to be oblivion-inducing based. Let people forget about the cursed name for a long enough time, to come back when? Dieselgate would have been buried in the past and the brand name can shine again.
The way Volkswagen is handling the Dieselgate is a very good example of proper crisis management and seems coming from a crisis management handbook (such as “Master of disaster“): once discovered, the company neither denied the facts nor tried to hide it, announced an independent review, fired the culprits, called-in a new, serious manager started cooperating with the authorities, saved the money for the inevitable fines and damages.
This way Volkswagen has been able to keep the public outcry under control because no collateral damages – such as deep burying evidences, threatening or bribing involved people, further doctoring information etc. – have been suffered, thus helping the company recover its image – and customer base – faster.
Don’t take it personal. This is the mantra we’re all taught when entering the professional business. By don’t taking things “personally” – cognoscenti say – we are more independent, target-oriented, able to better work in a team.
But in the meantime, by not “taking things personally”, assignments are something that ends daily at 5 p.m. no matter what, ? companies are just a place to leave from as soon as a well paid (in power or money when and if a) job is found, work is not filled with passion, creativity and personal involvement. Greed and Laziness become your best buds and complaints become your only conversation topic.
On the contrary, if you “take it personal” the pivot of your world become the exploiting of your creativity, appreciation for a well done task and sharing your wisdom with your peers. As an accomplished craftsman or artist you put yourself in the things you do and things you do speak about you better than any fancy written CV.
Think of it, next time somebody hints you not to “take it personal”.
Gian Antonio Stella, a well known ? journalist whose articles are published by the most important Italian daily newspaper, Il Corriere della sera, just published a new book: Bolli, sempre bolli, fortissimamente bolli, about the bureaucracy cancer in Italy.
At the beginning of the book (Kindle location 1853, to ? be precise) he extensively quotes ? La Legge di Parkinson, the Italian translation I did of the British classic “Parkinson’s Law“.
Damage Control and Crisis Management aren’t easy to understand and master without actual field experience. Nevertheless reading good books help the introduction to these fundamental tools for a legal adviser.
Master of Disasters is one of the books that should stay on everybody’s desk, read as a Bible.