Sadly, nonprofits have long expected that the public will tolerate them being slow to adopt best business practices. It’s just not true anymore. The world is moving too fast. Technology is moving too fast. The public won’t be able to find us if we stick our heads in the sand and refuse to join the web revolution. There will be no one paying enough attention to us to tolerate anything.
Just because you’ve always done it one way doesn’t mean you should continue to do so. This week Seth Godin exhorts us to adopt a new paradigm in Strategy Matters More Than Ever. It’s not what you do (the potentially broken thing) but how you do it (the potentially broken process/attitude) that separates winners from losers. Success increasingly depends on strategic planning and smart, targeted execution.
This perhaps may come as a surprise to your boss, who may have been successful doing the same thing for years. Those who’ve been successful often don’t see a reason to alter the status quo. Not everyone is an entrepreneur.
Many successful folks are seriously addicted to business as usual. Change scares them. Yet, change is here to stay. Social (aka social media) is not a fad. As Brian Solis tells us in The End of Business As Usual, the disruptive technology we’ve all come to love and hate – Web 1.0; Web 2.0 and now Web 3.0 – has changed the game, leveled the playing field and altered the rules. Plus ça change, ce n’est pas la même chose. All business is now social.
So what are we to doif our boss isn’t a socializer?
1. Share articles with your boss (like Seth’s and Brian’s; other bloggers and this blog). Find books, TED talks, Harvard Business Review posts and any esteemed resources you believe have credibility with your leaders.
Show your leaders that you’re not the only one preaching a change in strategy for 2012. There’s a revolution going on! The messenger matters, and you may not be the right one (it’s amazing how, once we’re ‘insiders’, people don’t listen to us anymore).
2. Share the same resources with other top management.
The goal is to start a quiet culture revolution and get everyone on the same page that the times they (really!) are a’changin.’ It’s imperative for us to move from inside/out sales and marketing to outside/in engagement, customer service and strong, relevant, resonating leadership.
3. Share the same resources with your co-workers and reports.
Get the shift going not only from top/down but also from bottom/up. You can all meet in the middle.
4. Encourage your boss to watch the Olympics.
Okay, I jest perhaps. But… it’s actually never been all that cool to simply rest on one’s laurels. Olympians come back, again and again, to try to improve their performance.
5. Share inspiring perspectives with yourself, and lead by example. This is, perhaps, the most important tip. If you feel like a hamster on a treadmill, constantly in an annual cycle of repeating the same things over and over, then chances are you’re not going to be inspiring yourself or anyone else. When you’re bored, burnt, fried, frustrated, careless or just on auto-pilot, then that’s what you project to the world. The hamster wheel may not be broken, but you are.