July 25, 2008

Be The Champion

I find it fascinating to watch as companies grapple with the new realities.

There are no rules, no one has the answer, currency is knowledge and not a warehouse full of crap, and mass marketing has been compromised by the fragmented user-driven world.

I was speaking with a colleague this week about the behavior of large household name companies that are moving slowly away from the television-radio-newspaper only model and starting to toss a few pennies and quarters at the millions of eyeballs consuming content online.

The next day, I had a conversation with someone about the largest generation of the 20th century who are now quite simply looking toward retirement. A few weeks ago I was speaking with someone who said “I only have a few more years ‘til I retire and drink beer.”

Can’t you just feel the urgency to learn new things?! Inspiring, isn’t it?

Back to the phones I went. The next conversation on the subject was with a man I’ve known for decades. He is in his 60’s and has no intention of retiring. It’s not about work for him; he simply enjoys what he does. He also enjoys his 12 weeks of annual vacations and taking his wife to Europe. This is one very cool dude who you’d think was – trying to get to retirement to drink said beer. Nope. We exchange information all the time about online advertising, social networking, content development – rich, important stuff.

He said to me the other day that he was frustrated more people in his company didn’t embrace the social network. I said it was because he was the champion. He was the one person in the entire building who was leading the online charge. He was not afraid to meet new people – online or in person. He shared ideas constantly and didn’t try and sell everyone he met. And best of all, he never led with his job title.

If you want your company or organization involved in the new reality – it’s not something you can fake. The price of admission is showing up and contributing. Put your PowerPoint presentations away and connect. Be the social media corporate champion who lets people get to know you and what you may do rather than tossing business cards around and reminding others of your Harvard pedigree.

Through the social network space, I have met doctors and lawyers and CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies and owners of ad agencies and independent consultants and writers and painters and marketing people and the list goes on.

But that is information I found out after they piqued my interest as human beings.

km

 
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