Watershed Moments

A client of ours recently used the expression “watershed moments” to describe the pivotal moment they’d arrived at. I don’t know the origin of the expression per se, but the dictionary says that a watershed moment is one where “everything changes. A moment in time when nothing after will ever be the same as before.” In the case of this particular client, a new leader had taken charge of a very established organization, and was “shaking it up”, electrifying the staff, clients and suppliers, who are behaving as though they’re awakening from a long sleep, to an intensely bright and vibrant day.

Our civilization itself is undergoing numerous watershed moments – economies are shifting, whole corporations and industry sectors are vanishing and others are emerging, new technologies are replacing older ones, old ways are being questioned or simply discarded. In my little world, I am rapidly converting to all things Apple (after the watershed moment of Steve Job’s death, which only seemed to intensify his god-like stature) and questioning whether RIM is going to exist any longer than my Blackberry will. And as an agency, we’re in the delightful position of working with organizations who are recognizing their watershed moments and enacting a dramatic shift in their marketing, in the way they’re perceived, and in the very way they do business. Such as Because I am a Girl, which achieved this past December the rare distinction of convincing the United Nations to create an International Day of the Girl (October 11th). A Canadian campaign, armed with 15,000 signatures of Canadian girls and women, changed the United Nations. Not so bad.

It is a frightening time for those who are bound by tradition and need the stability of the tried and true all around them. It is a remarkable time for those who are restlessly creative, who relish change and the discovery of new things. Let us praise those who embrace these watershed moments and make the most of them.