Ever since the Internet began gaining popular awareness in the mid-1990s, the topic of how businesses can productively use various new media technologies has been a subject of ongoing interest. Along the way we’ve had a series of innovations to consider: first it was the Net, and the current tool of the moment is Twitter. In between we had, in no particular order, Facebook (not that Facebook has gone away, of course), CRM, mobile (SMS, smart phones, apps), blogging, RSS and aggregation, Digg (and Reddit and StumbleUpon and Current and Yahoo! Buzz and Technorati and Del.icio.us and seemingly thousands more), targeted e-mail, YouTube, SEO, SEM, online PR and, well, you get the idea.
We certainly hear examples of businesses getting it right with new media, but in truth these cases represent a painfully small minority. Continue reading “Business and social media: American companies growing up, sort of”
Once upon a time the business world was dominated by hierarchical organizations that derived both their structures and mechanistic management philosophies from military thinking that traces its lineage through Frederic the Great all the way back, literally, to the Roman legions. And by “once upon a time,” of course, I mean “at this very minute.”
The truth is that way too many American companies today act as though their employees are some combination of robot and peasant foot soldier. (Hopefully we’re not talking about the company you work for, but I imagine we’ve all been there at some point – I know I have and so have most of the people I know.) Continue reading “Fear is the organization killer”
As the poet Robert Burns put it, “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men / Gang aft agley.” The common military iteration of the sentiment says that no plan, however well devised, survives contact with the enemy. And former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson explained, in the least poetic fashion possible, that everybody’s got a plan until you bust him in the mouth.
There’s a lesson in here for businesses, even those that aren’t involved in actual combat: Nothing wreaks havoc with strategic planning quite like hard times. We’ve all got a plan, a vision, a dream, but these plans have to navigate whatever reality throws at us, and the more adverse the conditions the harder it is to stick to the course. Continue reading “In business, desperate times call for measured thinking”