Jacqueline brought me iced coffee a few weeks ago, and I commented that it tasted especially delicious. She said, “I used two sugars instead of one or none, the way you usually say you like it.” As is often the case with me, I ended up thinking about a bit more than how many sugars I take in my coffee. The truth is, I wasn’t really being honest with myself.
I can say I prefer my coffee black, but what I was really saying was, “I know that I’m supposed to have it black.” I prefer my coffee with two sugars. It’s much nicer that way. Healthier? No. But I have to be where I am. Maybe it’s a matter of having it sometimes with sugar and sometimes black.
In Business, Be Where You Are
Over the last handful of years, people have brought me into their company because their CEO or CMO read an article that said they should be using social media to drive more business, and just what the heck does that look like? Most times, there were more people around the table who thought the whole idea was stupid, but they were in the King’s court so had to entertain the King’s whims. As the jester, I was allowed to say, “You know, there’s a whole cultural shift that comes along with these tools. We might have to explore whether you’re really ready to take this on.”
I hear many consultants complain that a company “doesn’t get it.” Usually, there are many bits to this particular puzzle. 1.) The culture isn’t ready to accept the kind of change that using social tools brings. 2.) The consultant talked about the tools and not about the business processes and functions. 3.) The goals weren’t really clearly defined around simple outcomes and easy-to-assess metrics. But look at point #1 the most. That’s the hardest part. 2 and 3 come easily if you get into a company’s head and understand what people want around the table. There’s a reason people say that the best salespeople are listeners. Every sale I’ve lost, I lost with my mouth and not with my ears.
Two Sugars, Please
Growth and change are a process. I was recently at an event where someone said, “My company is growing rapidly. Why should I bother with social business?” I said, “Why should you?” And that threw him back a bit. I think he predicted that my answer would be rife with reasons why he should adapt. Not a chance. If you’re doing great without a new set of tools, why buy the tools?
I own a few pieces of music software right now. The one I like using the most is GarageBand in my iPad. It’s the least full-featured. It’s the least future-minded. It’s the most fun and the one where I get to make music simplest. I use bigger apps when I need them, not just because bigger apps exist.
Apply Liberally to Your Life
You’re fat. You should be skinny. Start with where you are. Fat. It’s okay. It doesn’t have to be permanent. You just have to start somewhere. Can you share 4 minutes with me, fatso?
Can’t see the video? CLICK HERE.
Arthur started there. You can do that. Can’t you? Or do you have an excuse.
All of this works the same way. It’s not B2B, B2C. It’s human. Where are you?