The widespread proliferation of the Internet, Google, Amazon, social media, and smartphones have fundamentally shifted the way we communicate. I am not talking about texting shorthand, emoji, or new terminology. The shift that I am suggesting is in how we communicate information and its value to audiences.
To put it simply, these (and plenty of other) 21st Century advancements have made it exponentially easier to find and compare information relevant to making decisions.
Where should I invest my time as employee?
Where should I invest my money as a consumer?
Where should I invest my money as an investor?
To be relevant, make valuable information easily available.
Valuable information goes beyond product specs, FAQs, and easy comparison guides. It is now in the form of real-time and verified customer reviews, free shipping and hassle-free returns; as well as 24-7 support/service with a human who speaks our language natively. It is also publishing core values of the organization and using them to make eve difficult decisions.
The majority of the research and conscious thinking that is done, is done outside of anything that could be construed as ‘business hours’. More importantly, this research is also done outside of digital connections; we talk to people at ball games, neighborhood BBQs, family gatherings, and a plethora of informal connections.
When businesses make information easily accessible, they open themselves to wonderful transformations that benefit the entire organization.
The role of Customers shifts from supplying cash flow for business operations; to resonating the ideals and values of the brands we choose to support. Customers become advocates with more power to influence future purchase decisions than a multiple full-time employees charged with the same task. This power is applied through scathing 1-star reviews as well as the glowing 5-star ones.
The role of Leadership shifts from navigating the executive decisions to steer company towards desired direction; towards designing, building, and continuously developing the environment for ideal culture that will bring about loyalty and trust. If you have not formalized a mission, vision, and/or purpose, it defaults to ‘growth in random directions from day to day’. Obviously, this is done more efficiently through action than merely through a clever string of words.
The role of Employees shifts from doing the work as assigned by management to embodying the culture and ideals 24/7 everywhere we go and in everything we do. Authentic enthusiasm shown by employees (sometimes understood as engagement) at all levels indicates the quality of Leadership and predicts the interactions with customers. Metrics like loyalty, market share, stock prices, consumer confidence, customer retention, and sales revenues increase as employee engagement increases.
There is not one absolute starting point. As everything is so interconnected, it all must be addressed in a new manner to get complete benefit.
Are you ready for a business transformation?
Where do you want to start?