What I re-learnt about strategy during one homeless night

by Mahesh EnjetiWhat I relearnt about Strategy

Last Thursday, I participated in a Vinnies fundraising event at Luna Park in Sydney.  It was a very humbling experience, trying to get a tiny taste of what a homeless person experiences on a cold and wet night.  There were many enriching moments throughout the evening but an encounter at the Choice station reminded me of what I had learnt years ago: “The essence of strategy is sacrifice.”  Strategy is about knowing what to do but equally about choosing what not to do.

As we arrived, Vinnies volunteers gave each of us twenty faux dollars.  We had to decide how to spend these.  Choosing to retain our sleeping bag meant parting with $5, a cup of soup cost $4, a bread roll was priced at $2 and tea, a dollar.  No one however could have everything they needed.   Hapless choices confronting the homeless each day.

As marketers we often want to do more than what we did the year before or fund a new marketing program that requires a budget increase.  Strategy or tactic, we must learn to choose.  Give up one thing in order to be able to afford another.  A profound message from the simplest of lives that we only rarely get a chance to share.

If you are inclined to help Vinnies in their crusade against homelessness, please click here.


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