This is a guest post by Bob Walsh of 47hats.com
Neil's latest post, BoS digest: why you can't just trim the fat,
I thought was a good one, but it neglected the 14th principle of the
Toyota Way: Become a learning organization through relentless
reflection (hansei) and continuous improvement (kaizen).
Put another way, that means stop ignoring and resisting the ways the
world has changed. I've noticed that established ISVs have extreme
difficulty in understanding some of the fundamental changes that have
happened in the last several years, especially when it comes to social
Today, because so many of your customers connect with each other
online, your market is a conversation you do not control. Furthermore,
much of that conversation is happening on networks you don't
understand. But because of internal politics, inertia, and that few
C*O's are technology early adopters, this shift is someone else's
problem and the can gets kicked down the road to the next meeting.
If at this juncture you don't understand that interrupt advertising is
broken, that the old ways of doing business are broken, you have a
serious problem. Yes, there's plenty of hype in the social media world
– but dismissing social media as something unimportant at this point
misses the point.
Here's a little test:
- Do know what getsatisfaction.com is and actively participate there?
- Do you have a Chief Community Officer?
- Do you and your other execs talk with customers via your robust company blog?
- Do you and your other execs understand and use Twitter, Facebook and other social media?
If you don't at least get 2 out of 4 of the above, how do you expect to survive the next 24 months?
No one expects or wants your company to become a social media
powerhouse that transparently converses with your customers overnight.
But the time for sitting on the fence regarding social media is up. And
since social media is an intensely disruptive force to traditionally
organized hierarchical entities (read – your company), this is not a
matter to be taken lightly.
Time is not your friend right now.
Bob Walsh is by turns a consultant,
blogger, developer, microISV, startup, author and podcaster. Too much
free time on his hands is not a problem he has.