You know how the saying goes... everything you see looks like a nail. Well, better than getting into a conversation about holes, right? Yesterday's hammers where more around outbound marketing. Today, because of the Web, we say it's about inbound marketing. LinkedIn, blogs, Twitter, now Facebook -- technology hammers.
When you're extremely passionate about one or two hammers hammers, because you spent time using them and figuring out what works for you, you spend the rest of your time pushing them on others.
You're a Facebook person, so every answer to how we should engage in social media is, of course, friending everyone on Facebook -- and potentially spamming the living daylights out of them for good measure. Or focusing on a fan page without consideration to where customers are really doing business. Same with Twitter. Why not vomit press releases and links all day long on a Twitter stream? Please RT.
Now transfer that to groups of people and culture. Have you noticed how people who work in a company together and spend a lot of time with each other tend to all conform to a certain look and persona? They're hired that way, or they get that way -- sink or swim, or play the whack-a-mole.
When you love a car, a laptop, a smart phone -- you start noticing that make and brand everywhere. You see what you're attuned to. And you stop seeing what could expand your market opportunities or how those tools all need to work as a system.Holes are different
We don't like holes. Rabbit holes, holes in need of repair, black holes, prison holes, and so on. Holes are metaphorically empty spaces of various depths where either nothing happens, or we have no idea what will happen. So we don't pursue them. Pity, that's where innovation is.
Holes are interesting. They're the place where reality is not predictable. If it were that easy, innovation wouldn't be new.
What do you do with all this? A few ideas for exploration:
- look where no one else is. This is where best practices come in handy, so you can see what everyone else is doing, and do it differently, or do something else
- connect the dots better than anyone else. This is easier to do with technology (scale), check out the service and product continuum: what is the missing link?
- check out the gap in front of you and bridge it. Sometimes the disconnect is a communication issue. Do you need to simplify, amplify, reword, restate, resolve?
- do one big thing and skip all the little ones. Sometimes it's best to invest in one thing, than diluting your efforts and energies over too many, spreading yourself too thin
- figure out which ones of your choices matter. Or as Seth Godin would say, if you need to quit or push through the dip
None of this is going to happen because you have hammers. It's a hole or opportunity conversation. In the last couple of years, many holes appeared where there seemed to be none. Don't let the competition take you by surprise, start innovating today.
What opportunities are you overlooking for your business? Think about enrolling fans, working with brand advocates, loving your customers, supporting your partners, building alliances, forming tribes.
How can you apply this to yourself? Can you be more real? How can you build velocity and momentum? What do you need to be patient about?
© 2010 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.