Lead Foot, Rabbit’s Foot or Gazelle’s Foot?
In preparation for my participation in tomorrow’s panel discussion I want to share two reflections on the power of a business owner to drive change.
I have the privilege of joining two thought leaders tomorrow (Tuesday, June 12, 2012) on “Accelerating Growth through Branding and Technology.” (Learn more here).
Panelist Michael Doyle expanded my notion of brand to include the characteristic expansive—“owning the space”—when we first met.
Next, fellow panelist Jonathan Senger introduced me to paradigm contrasting Enterprise 1.0 (E1) and the emerging Enterprise 2.0 (E2). You can get a sense of E1 by looking at businesses run by older Boomers and contrasting E2 by looking at businesses run by Millenials.
Every business owner is on that threshold—in the liminal dimension– somewhere between having an E1/brand as it is today and an E2/brand on the “far side” of where we want it to go. (Compare this to stages of ownership).
When we set an intention to move through that liminal dimension, we typically fall into one of three postures and have a:
1. Lead Foot: blindly hitting the pedal, adopting technologies and social media practices in the mistaken belief that speed will conquer all. For example, unless you have unlimited funding, SEO alone will not drive people to you. You’re using a typical E2 tool out of the outmoded E1 “push” marketing mindset/paradigm.
2. Rabbit Foot: a wishful thinking, “random hope” strategy. We choose random strategies in the hope we will get lucky and achieve a business result by copying what our really smart and successful Rotarian friend does in her business. Those strategies may or may not be well-vetted assessments for our businesses!
3. Gazelle’s Foot: an agile, swift, adaptive approach. You’re able to enjoy grass, imbibe water and instantaneously accelerate to elude lions. Like the agile software project management paradigm, development proceeds iteratively, collaboratively and organically, not according to some set-in-stone master plan. It builds on the Delphi effect, i.e., the wisdom of the team is greater than the genius of a single manager or director.
All business boils down to human relationships. For example, the best enterprise sales executives don’t actually close the deal by innovative financing or highlighting better product features and functions alone. The best ones offer “solution selling,” directly addressing the individual human aspirations of their clients—such as making a mark on their organization or earning the promotion from CIO to CEO.
At the end of the day, the business owner will effectively negotiate the liminal dimension between E1 and E2 through key strategies which I will outline at tomorrow’s panel discussion. I hope to see you there!
Let’s apply this to choosing the next step in your next social media strategy. Consider this question: what is your tolerance for change or cultural “discomfort”? How fast can you and your organization move past this discomfort threshold toward E2?
- Think of your social media options as different countries. Pick a “country” you want to visit for its sights and climate, so to speak. You need to understand two things: which social media channel to select and how to match the message to that channel. Choose one of the “big four”—LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter.
- Have fun! Create an account and be a tourist on your chosen channel. Follow companies whose approach you respect/admire. You know you’ve made the right choice if you enjoy the environment on that channel.
- Use the steps I’ve encouraged you to adopt in decision making:
A. Make a decision.
B. Put a date on it.
C. Share A & B with a trusted advisor who will hold you accountable to this decision.
Then repeat A-C.