The Power of Delay: How Big Companies Stall for Change

The Tactic of “More Research”

In the world of marketing, action is key. Marketers strive to create conditions for change, helping people achieve their goals and fulfill their needs. However, there is a different approach that some marketers have taken since 1950 – a tactic that aims to sow confusion and doubt, and above all, to seek delay.

One of the most notable examples of this tactic occurred in 1954 when the cigarette industry, faced with clear evidence linking smoking to lung cancer, surprisingly acknowledged the research and called for more studies. This strategy of calling for “more research” is both brilliant and evil. It appeals to those who embrace science, as it implies further investigation, while also appeasing those who wish to maintain the status quo, as it implies delaying action.

This playbook of stalling in the face of reality has been employed by big companies time and time again. When confronted with a chronic, nuanced, and complex problem, they have discovered that they can stall for a seemingly indefinite period. The key lies in our collective choice to not fully understand the issue at hand. We willingly deceive ourselves into believing that we can wait for more research to provide a pleasant surprise.

As long as people remain in the dark, the tactic of stalling works like a charm.

Understanding the Urgency of Climate Change

Having spent over a year volunteering on The Carbon Almanac project, alongside hundreds of other individuals, I had the opportunity to deeply understand the reality of climate change. It’s not just about extreme weather events such as ten consecutive days with temperatures exceeding 119 degrees in Phoenix; it’s about the overall climate shift. We have reached a point where the best time to have acted was thirty years ago, but now, the present moment is all we have left.

While it may be easy to get confused about the subject, understanding the gravity of climate change is not as difficult as it seems. The answers lie within the pages of the almanac.

The Power of Delay and the Quest for Immediate Profit

Despite the mounting evidence and urgent need for action, some companies continue to prioritize short-term profits over long-term sustainability. The recent announcement by the new CEO of Shell, stating that the company is intensifying its efforts to produce more fossil fuels, exemplifies this disturbing trend. It’s a clear indication that there is money to be made in the immediate future, and as long as the public remains uninformed or oblivious, the cycle of delay and profit continues.

However, there is hope. Understanding the issue at hand is the first step towards creating change.

Unlocking the Potential for Change

Thankfully, understanding is not beyond our grasp. It is within reach, waiting for us to take hold of it. The key lies in educating ourselves about the realities of climate change, the consequences of inaction, and the possibilities for a sustainable future. We can no longer afford to succumb to the tactics of delay and confusion.

By seeking out reliable sources of information, engaging with organizations and individuals dedicated to environmental advocacy, and taking personal action to reduce our carbon footprint, we can create a collective shift towards a more sustainable and resilient world.

The Time for Action is Now

In conclusion, the power of delay employed by big companies to avoid change is a formidable challenge. However, by understanding the tactics at play and fully grasping the urgency of climate change, we can overcome this obstacle. It is up to each of us to educate ourselves, spread awareness, and make conscious choices that prioritize a sustainable future over short-term gains. The opportunity for change is within our reach – let’s seize it now.