Stuck on Autopilot? Ask These 9 Questions to Shift Gears

Stuck on Autopilot? Ask These 9 Questions to Shift Gears

Some of my favorite childhood memories are centered around drives with my father. What always surprised me was that sometimes those drives would last for hours and other days they would be relatively short, even if the destination was the same. It took me a decade to realize that the days the journey was shorter, my father knew where he was going.  

For many of us, driving becomes second nature, we switch on autopilot in our minds and zone out until we reach our destination. Sometimes entire organizations can get stuck on autopilot. But are we missing shorts cuts? Wasting time dealing with roadblocks that could have been avoided? It is easy to keep chugging along, business as usual, but sometimes we need to ask ourselves some tough questions in order to snap out of a rut and discover a more direct route to our destination.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to visit an exceptionally fast paced, growing, and engaged airline company. Our visit was centered around accountability, fulfilling on promises, and helping the organization demonstrate value from their technology investment. Sound familiar? What I found remarkable about the organization was that they didn’t lack desire, internal alignment, executive-level buy-in or focus. They simply did not know where their focus should lie.

So, why do we need to stay awake at the wheel? We need to avoid the dreaded “red zone” (or however your organization classifies this). It is the point when a misalignment of brand promise has occurred by either the people involved, the process, or the technology involved. I’ve come across this issue many times and as I observe, actively listen, and understand the people and businesses in front of me. I challenge myself and my customers to ask this set of questions. I encourage you to do the same. The smart ones tend to ask these before they see red!


Do I have the right team in place?
Has turnover impacted my ability to be successful?
Are my vendors and partners true partners vested in our success?


Do we have a plan for success?
Is this documented and at the heart of how we operate?
Have we instilled accountability at all levels of the process?


Can the technology meet our business requirements?
Will the technology be able to scale as we grow?
Does the technology vendor or identified partners deliver services and support on the brand promise?

If you’ve recently undergone a technology investment or if you’ve been on autopilot for years – challenge yourself with the questions above. Self-reflection can be difficult, but also enlightening, or a reinforcement that you are one the right track.

Just as having the right GPS is essential when driving, having the right technology stack for your company and business plan is key to your success. With an ever growing number of technology vendors, it is can be easy to get lost or overwhelmed when trying to select the right solution. The MarTech landscape is in seemingly constant flux, Download The Guide To Building Your Marketing Technology Stack for navigational tips on how to select the most effective marketing solution for your organization. 

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