Monday, July 2, 2012

The pursuit or the prize?

Today I stumbled across an old friend, a blog which had got me interested in blogging and getting the message out there about manufacturing - and I'd recommend it to everyone. It's a marketing blog by Seth Godin called "Seth's blog". Although by categorising it as a marketing blog is probably too restrictive - he certainly resonates with many marketers, but his thing is encouraging all of us to "be remarkable" in our businesses. (NB: It's the basis of his book Purple Cow - read it!).

His blog comprises of bite-sized insights that, I think, challenge conventional wisdom and urge consideration of varied and creative approaches to everyday problems. His latest entry about unfairly raising expectations when offering grants was interesting, but his summary was gold:
"Pepsi did the same thing with charities last year, and my concern is the same: when you activate your supporters, you need a clear path to victory, not a wild goose chase.
One significant way around this: have the outbound messages of the tribe be about more than the grant. Figure out how putting in the effort to help your local organization actually strengthens ties, instead of weakening them. The pursuit could be even better than the prize if you establish the right groundwork."
We see this all the time with our clients who get the concept of the "journey to excellence". That is, the 'journey' of continuous improvement is never over, never complete because you can always improve. This may sound fruitless but it is just the opposite for those who get it. They get it because they realise, as Godin says, that the activities that take place on the journey by engaging staff in the process and it is their participation, their buy-in that strengthens the collective commitment towards a particular goal.

The quantifiable results may be substantial and impressive, but it is the force that has been harnessed in achieving the goal that is more valuable to the organisation.

Thanks Seth. 

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