Today In Twitterverse: It’s Not All About You

Umair Haque is Director of the Havas Media Lab. His writings are featured on Harvard Business Review’s site.
I’d love to hear your take on Haque’s tweet. Does your organization put customer’s concerns ahead of everything else? Or is stuck in the what-we-want-to-say-not-what-they-want-to-hear mentality?

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. He’s right, and it will be more difficult than anyone can imagine. People’s sensibilities have been conditioned to view business as a transactional, adversarial game.
    Peruse any business publication or be the proverbial fly on any organizational wall and you’ll be repeatedly exposed to war and sports metaphors. You know: capture market share, armed with information, attack the competition, hit a home run, go the distance, raise the bar, and so forth. It’s difficult to change your thinking when you’re surrounded by such inapt language.
    How can anyone treat customers like friends when they’re consistently referred to as targets to be captured or territories to be conquered? And how can you hope to build long-term, mutually beneficial relationships when you’re busy “hooking them” and “reeling them in.”
    Most organizations use customers to make more and more money, instead of using money to make more and more happy customers. Umair’s challenge is to stop treating customers as a means to an end, that end being numbers, rewards, etc., and start treating them and their lives as the end goal. It’s a huge change in perspective.

  2. Tom,
    Thanks for the thoughtful contribution here. You’re worrying me a little though with the push back on hooking and reeling language, because the name of my company is Bonehook and we do use fishing metaphors, although we don’t focus on that. Be that as it may, it’s probably time to remove all such thinking and language in favor of mutually beneficial thinking and language.