Be the “brain” that directs your department’s success.

Unlike humans, cuttlefish have additional brain lobes that are outside the rest of the “brain casing.” These lobes are connected directly to their optic nerves—the cuttlefish’s data receptors—and stimulus of these optic lobes instantly triggers all the behaviors and actions normally controlled by the other parts of the brain. This creates a neurological shortcut. The cuttlefish doesn’t have to wait for the other brain structures to weigh in before it can act. Instead, the optic lobes have the ability to respond immediately to data as it’s received, sending out instantaneous messages throughout its entire body.

As Cuttlefish Marketers, the lesson to be learned from the cuttlefish’s unique brain function is this: as marketing executives, our function is the same as those extra cuttlefish brain structures—we should be the ones who send out fast, smart directions to our entire department.

In other words, don’t outsource your thinking. This doesn’t mean you need to micromanage your team players, nor does it mean you can’t make good use of agencies and outside consultants. Like the cuttlefish’s interior brain lobes, all these should be capable of independent thought and function. But when it comes down to fast, efficient response to data, you don’t want to sit back waiting for everyone else to take care of things. You want to be the one in charge.

I know what you may be thinking—you already have a lot to be responsible for. It’s tempting to let your agency handle things like being agile, using technology, and analyzing the data, while you focus on internal corporate alignment, stakeholder inclusion, and all of the other “internal-side” operations. But relying on an agency to do your thinking is not the fastest, most efficient way of doing things. It won’t make you agile. Just the opposite, it will slow you down.

Cuttlefish Marketers take an active role in their own success. They don’t rely on others to make it happen.