It was a pretty funny movie, if you're looking for something different to watch. And change can be illuminating, like literally walking in someone else's shoes. Change is your friend.
It's inevitable, for one. It's also what happens when you start getting more involved in communications with customers and employees through two-way tools that allow them to talk back. Whatever your role in the organization, you have the ability to make something happen. It could be something amazing.
You'll need to think strategy first, without complicating things. And it can potentially be a life changing thing -- for yourself and for your organization. Will you be in the driver seat, or the elephant in the china shop? Will your strategy help you define a sustainable path? It's all yours for the taking.
Dan Heath and Chip Heath do it again. They unpack the complex set of systems that conspire to undermine lasting change efforts and make us aware of a few levers we can use to move the needle in our favor. In Switch, they identify three components to understanding change and use metaphors to illustrate a framework you can affect.
- the Rider (our rational side)
- the Elephant (our emotional and instinctive side)
- the Path (the surrounding environment in which change initiatives will be conducted)
You'll want to direct the Rider, motivate the Elephant, and shape the Path. Who would not want to understand how to engage these forces to make something (good) happen? Reading the book, which is filled with stories and clinics, I found three surprises that made me reconsider how I approach my work:
- What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem
- What looks like laziness is often exhaustion
- What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity
What makes customers care enough to embrace your offering? How can you make it easier for them to buy? Think situation, complication, resolution. You know the answer, I can tell. This is a good question especially as you head back to forums with marketing messages and a charter to get the sale. Consider these ideas:
People will pay for you to help them control their own elephants -- 100-calorie packs anyone? So how can you create a pack of wants and shoulds? We want the cookie, we should exercise.
Look at what's working vs. what's not working -- investigate what that is and do more of it. Are people coming to your brand in their own terms? Think about our conversations about tribes and fans. 600 Ducati owners clubs. Within those, check out the bigger and most active ones. What are they doing differently?
Change comes from feeling most of the time -- not facts, or rational talking points. Designer jeans anyone? Why would someone spend $200 on a pair of jeans? What about scissors? Can you find passion about scissors? Sure, arts and craft community. You got it, the Fiskateers, a 5,400-member community.
Do we forget the power of emotional appeal in B2B marketing? What if Microsoft had created the iPod packaging? Not exactly that kind of appeal. Microsoft created a campaign for its developers to engage their creativity. How about IBM's Mainframe: The Art of the Sale? Yes, if big blue can let its hair down, you can, too. And to the skeptics, this video got them mainstream media coverage, in addition to blog traffic increase. You can be creative and effective at the same time.
The idea is to make it easy to for people to behave the way they want to. Amazon makes it as easy as possible for you to buy a book, buy now with one click. I call that easy.
One of my favorite quotes is "when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." I heard it from Wayne Dyer, who heard about it somewhere else and decided to make it part of his conversations for understanding the power of mental constructs and focus.
What will you do differently today?
[Rider illustration by omniNate]