Digital Media, Social Media, Internet Advertising, Search Marketing, Business Operations, Product Development – they are all Perfect Data-Driven environments.However, if you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.
That’s the premise of this article and if that resonates with you then the following examples will sound all too familiar.
“Let’s wait until we get our product package…”
“We need to wait until our new VP of XYZ starts.”
“When we finish building the website we can start X.”
“Once we launch our new Facebook page we can…”
Now the issue with waiting for perfect conditions is that it stifles growth. Frankly speaking, Perfect Conditions are rare because if they were common then everything would be easy.
Growth usually happens in
a) difficult situations
b) loss/unexpected circumstances and
c) when faced with challenging problems.
Sure, sometimes a great opportunity or situation will knock you off your donkey – but rarely if ever do they come with bright lights and blazing glory. So the best thing to do is always move forward with strategic outlined steps that provide solid footing regardless of the conditions.
To do this you must first understand that growth is not a start and stop process. Most companies and people measure growth on a linear level.
Linear Growth Model
Start ———————————————————————————————-> Stop
They outline a project or a need and they do something to make it have a means to an end. You see this in digital media every day. Company A Executive says, “We need a Facebook Page” = They build a Facebook Page. Done – right? No – done wrong!
True growth is really more dynamic and repetitive; a model of constant change, testing, measurement and accountability. The concept of growth is not a step 1 – 2 – 3 process. The following illustration is my version of a Dynamic Growth Model – a model in which you ultimately create more frequent and lasting value because you are constantly going through the cycle of dynamic growth.
I know and understand that a business and even business process have a variety of parts that can be very complex. However, if you don’t create a vision that is simple to understand and follow, as well as one that is accountable to measured success, then you get lost. You wouldn’t operate a GPS in a parking garage because it wouldn’t be able to take you where you want to go for it lacks the proper information. So why would you do that with anything else?
In a Dynamic Growth Model we are all agreeing that growth and/or progress requires constant measurement so we must start in a clear place where we can access the GPS coordinates. In short, you can’t expect to get anywhere if you don’t measure (Observe) where you are, Reflect on what the information tells you and set a clear course of Action that is accountable.
In the above Dynamic Growth Model illustration I’ll define each of the three Phases of the cycle.
Observe: Observation allows us to ask questions such as, “Where are we?” and “What just happened?” This is very important because you need to be able to answer these questions before deciding where to go and which direction to follow. This is setting your baseline, your measurement stick from which to base your decisions.
Reflect: What can we learn? Reflection allows us to determine what we are being told. In other words what is the initial information from our Observation Phase telling us? Does something need to change? Do others need to be invited to the process?
For example, say you are a manufacturer and you want to know what product features your customers prefer and which they don’t and also what they want in the future. Using the Dynamic Growth Model, you should complete a thorough Social Intelligence Analysis gathering in the Observation Phase and then in the Reflect Phase make sense of what is required. It may well determine that there’s a need to involve Research and Development, Brand Management, Sales, etc…in the Action Phase.
Action: How do we take steps forward? Action allows us to take steps to act on the information. This Action includes:
a) Creation of a Plan
b) Accountability of the Measurement of the Success
c) Committed Agreement of Direction from all parties involved
Notice I say “accountability.” This is very important and needs to be a strong focus. You may be saying, “Well, our organisation is already accountable.” But is it? Good intentions are not accountable. Far too often companies and business personnel have good intentions but stop short of the true measurement.
So, let’s say you move forward and go through the Dynamic Growth Process. What now? I’m glad you asked – the premise of the Dynamic Growth Model is that it never ends – the keyword here is “dynamic.” Therefore your action created something (sales, brand awareness, customer responses) and now it’s time to Observe again and start all over. This will assist in keeping everything you do accountable and progressing in a dynamic fashion every day.
Where does this lead? It leads to smarter questions and using information to better drive decisions which result in more frequent and lasting value for a business.
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