Hey all! Welcome to Week 1 of our Blogging Book Club discussion of “The Now Revolution.” This week, we tackled Shift 1: Engineer a New Bedrock and hopefully have all kinds of juicy insights to share.
In Shift 1, Jay and Amber waste no time getting down to business. They are quick and direct in stating that a successful social strategy can most effectively be realized within a real-time culture that embraces and nurtures adaptability, participation and empowerment, among other key elements.
I appreciate their focus on business intent as a prime driver of the “aftertaste” that is left by a brand and its experiences. Perhaps more important than an organization’s intent are the employees that execute it. Jay and Amber articulate what we all know but too often forget: that if your people are not advocating for your purpose, your culture is not a thriving one. And as a result of the social web’s transparency, consumers will see right through the façade. Let’s be honest…
No one gets excited about doing business with a disingenuous or “meh” brand.
I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of synergy in business – that is, the notion that “the whole is more than the sum of its parts.” To me, achieving synergy within the context of business in the online world means finding synchronicity between a business’ mission or purpose (or its intent) and its online actions and interactions (how employees live out the intent). As Jay and Amber point out, a culture that exhibits solidarity, demonstrated trust, feedback loops, diversity and reward systems is what fuses these two together.
A brand’s culture is what creates or hinders synergy.
Why does synergy matter? When a business achieves it, it is often able to pivot that into a competitive advantage. For example, let’s say you make the best, most differentiated widget in your industry. If you can now leverage the synergy created by your culture in a way that enables you to:
- tend to service issues,
- answer questions,
- meet customers in their “moment of need,”
- in their channel of preference,
- in a manner that competitors cannot easily copy or neutralize
Boom! You have the makings of a competitive advantage.
Synergy is often sustainable because it is based on the unique characteristics of an organization (your culture and intent!).
So those are my musings. Now, for yours. Here are some questions to guide your responses:
- Generally speaking, what were your reactions to Shift 1?
- What are the top three traits you value in a potential employer?
- To bake a culture right into your business (a la Ritz-Carlton), what steps can you take on a smaller scale if you don’t have the advantages of scale or other expendable resources at your fingertips?
- What do you think about the feasibility of an Idea Lab concept in your organization? What are your ideas to put a plan in place to activate the ‘good’ ideas and table the ‘not-so-good’ ones (without discouraging participation)?
- What section(s) of the Culture Quiz are currently the most prohibitive to achieving an honest, real-time culture in your organization? What actions can you take to address and repair two or three items that you think could really impact your culture?
What say you, readers?