Jigsaw LLC


Going to battle together: Building a culture of trust

— Culture & Observations —

WWII FlakDodger Bomber

WWII FlakDodger on a mission

“On 14 February 1945, Lts. Kingdon Knapp/Robert Spaight in NS554 found their primary covered with cloud, so Knapp flew west of Krefeld, Holland for a target of opportunity without clouds for a photo run.

Spaight: “The pilot actuated the intervalometer set to release one flash bomb every 38 seconds. I gave Knapp our position line and he switched on the intervalometer, starting the photo run. One away…two away…after the ninth flash bomb released, we waited for the tenth.

Suddenly, Knapp reached over to salvo the remaining bomb load. A spit-second after clearing the aircraft there was a brilliant blinding light beneath us and a horrendous explosion that abruptly jolted and violently threw the aircraft about. I was taken completely by surprise and did not have time to realize what had happened. The mental shock of what occurred caused my heart to beat heavily.

Upon gaining control, we gathered our thoughts and quietly returned to Watton. After landing we climbed out and inspected the aircraft. No structural damage was evident, but heat generated from the exploding PFBs scorched off the entire paint covering the Mosquito lower surfaces. Somehow, Knapp knew the 10th flash bomb had partially hung-up and salvoed the entire load. How he deduced something was wrong, I don’t know. I have always said, ‘He saved my life’.”

-U.S. Militaria Forum


That is the story of how Lt. Kingdon Knapp saved my father’s life during WWII, on Valentine’s Day, 1945. My dad was just 21 years old, and navigating bombers over Europe, including many unfathomably dangerous runs over Nazi Germany. Why am I sharing this here, you may be wondering. How is there a parallel between WWII, Jigsaw, the business of marketing? Well, obviously marketing is not – usually – life and death. (It’s a metaphor…work with me here…)

I’ve heard Jigsaw referred to by others as a place where we all fight the good fight together for our clients and have each others’ backs. I hope – and believe – that we all aspire to live that. Doesn’t everyone want to feel that way at work? I think everyone deserves to feel that way at work.

Like a brand wanting its customers to stand up for it, it requires a key thing: earning trust. Which is not an easy thing to do. Customers and coworkers alike are sometimes skeptical. So it’s a real challenge, day in and day out, in the heat of “battle”, demonstrating to your customers or your coworkers that you’ve got their backs.

But that’s what it takes, is demonstrating. A wise client recently said that “trust is earned via consistent, predictable good behavior over a period of time.” Simple, and so true. You can act in good faith for years, then one wrong move, and *BOOM*, the trust is broken. No one can be sure any more that when the bomb load needs to be salvoed, you’ll have their back.

Just something to think about – and something I’m thinking about – when choosing how to act each day, whether you’re thinking about your brand or your culture.

Posted by Jigsaw