Saturday, September 17, 2011

Strategy vs. Reality

     Yeah, don't you wish it was that easy?  This is today's "Non Sequitur" strip by Wiley Miller.   Basically, the best intentions and hopes in the world aren't going to save you when disaster is reaching its paw into your aquarium.
     What is your idea of strategy versus reality?  I'd like to hear from you -- leave a comment at the bottom of the post.  In the meantime, while you think about it, here's a quote from the Harvard Business Review from February of 2007.  The article is written by Joseph Bower and Clark Gilbert.

    “What we have found in one research study after another is that how business really gets done has little connection to the strategy developed at corporate headquarters. Rather, strategy is crafted, step by step, as managers at all levels of a company—be it a small firm or a large multinational—commit resources to policies, programs, people and facilities.”
       If you want to pursue it in greater detail, here's a link to the article:  
            In the world of business social media, as in just about everything else, strategy needs to be tailored to fit the reality.  If you are a one person outfit, targeting Microsoft as the company you are going to directly compete against is probably a pretty wide divergence in the strategy versus reality model.
      There is absolutely no need to set yourself up for failure by not tailoring your strategy to your reality.   Before you engage in any sort of business social media, before you take yourself to the public, you MUST have a firm grasp on your own reality and your own capabilities.  This is a very simple thing to do and is a lesson you probably learned as a child, though you didn't realize it at the time. 
      Remember when you played "Monopoly"?  The other players had hotels on Park Place and Boardwalk, owned all the railroads and the utilities, and held the property cards that you needed to complete your own monopoly so you could begin building houses.  Your strategy may have been to eventually build your own hotels, but the stark reality dictated that you conserve cash and just hope to stay alive to play another turn.
     The big takeaway here?  You must carefully pick the the items you are going to commit your resources to - be they large or small - in order to stay competitive!  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How Much Does it Cost?


How much does it cost?   How often do we ask ourselves that question?  Have you ever bought something without any idea of how much you were paying for it?  (If you answered in the affirmative, I have a couple of bridges in New York that you might be interested in...)  Of course you haven't.  So, why don't you bother to add up costs in your business social media messaging?

     In the world of business social media, "cost" has three meanings.

     1.  "Cost" as in how much it costs you to do something.
     2.  "Cost" as in how much it costs you to do nothing.
     3.  "Cost" as in how much it costs you to do something wrong.

     So - how much does it cost you to do something?  Well, that's based entirely on your overhead, isn't it?  If you are the single person doing your own business social media, well, it costs you your time.  You'll have to figure out what that comes to in cold hard cash.

     How much does it cost you to do nothing?  Difficult to quantify.  Perhaps by doing (saying, emailing, posting) nothing, you are doing yourself the biggest favor since Steven Jobs told someone he was starting a computer company and getting in on the ground floor would cost next to nothing.   On the other hand, doing nothing could also position you as either clueless, indecisive, incapable of action --- you get the idea.

     Finally, how much does it cost you to do something wrong?  A lot, depending on how much you have to lose.  The wrong response, the wrong message - it can easily wreck all of your hard work, and make it that much more difficult for you to regain your edge.

     Add up your expected costs on every single one of your business social media messages, including the ones you don't send.  You might find a big cost saving is literally at your fingertips!