June 25, 2011

Your Digital Potluck

Plenty for Everyone

When I was a kid, Mrs. Johnson always loved to have potluck dinners. The families would gather at her house with their item to add to the bounty. I was a kid, I was happy there were always hotdogs. But Mrs. Johnson would always ensure each family would know what to bring. She issued assignment orders. There was no guesswork. After some deliberation, tasks were assigned, and the potlucks went off without a hitch.

Years later I was invited to a potluck and all guests were asked to bring a food item. We ended up with 80 burgers, five Caesar salads, enough potato salad to feed a small nation and no plates. Each person had good intentions but there was no plan.

Creating Your Organization's Buffet

Digital discussions still may be in their infancy and that is not a reference to the length of time a company may have been on Facebook or thought through the reason they have a mobile app but rather a reflection of acceptance throughout the organization.

Here’s where the decision makers start to get nervous when they can no longer measure it in relation to driving business. The digital purists are defending the conversation, the advocates are pointing out the benefits of finding like minded people to connect with the offering but the people holding the wallets are wondering if all this stuff is going to pay off. After all, we can't reside in "it takes a while" land forever.

Same Agenda - Different Language 

Communication can be the single biggest way for companies to improve or fail. Building a social business is not easy. Departments are necessary to chunk up the work and align strengths but the challenges reside in both knowledge levels and acceptance of the digital opportunities.

The purists say now is the time to move, the advocates remind others the past is not where the future lies while the people accountable to the money haven’t quite added it all up. There are a lot of choices and opinions. Some cost money while others start disagreements. The evolution will not be swift. It would be cool to see a day when the early adopters can appreciate the necessity of the bottom line while the ones with the wallets continue to let believers assess value.

Do you have a plan for your digital potluck?

Kneale Mann

image credit: thepinktruffle
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