I am getting tired of the conversation around optimizing leads and finding the calculated ROI of community and social media efforts. When did business leaders abandon the ability to just do the right thing?
- The right thing by customers (if they have a question...why are you charging them for calls?)
- The right thing by employees (give them credit, opportunity, and encouragement instead of treating them like disposable widgets)
- The right thing by partners (tell them about problems sooner rather than doing damage control later)
Many business decisions do not need calculated proof to know that they are right. In fact, I think models get us into more trouble then not....and the cost of all of that data collection and analysis is outstanding. It's cheaper to just do the right thing...most of you know what that is so? Just do the right thing. Stop the analysis, stop the wondering if you are right, stop the endless hand wringing, and more than anything stop the fear that you don't have 'proof' that something works. Just do the right thing.
Part of my passion around social media comes from wanting us as a business community to start treating each other like humans again rather than protagonists in a plot that can be compartmentalized as 'just business'. Turns out consumers would like to be treated like humans too. And maybe that is too much to hope for - there are a lot of people out there who believe that they can't win unless someone else loses - but that is not the environment in which I want to spend my life.
I think businesses have completely forgotten that at the end of the day they are just like my corner drycleaner who looks out for customers by looking over cloths, recommending sometimes that it is better to clean something by hand at home, knows most customers by name, rings you up if you have orphaned your clothes for too long, and feels a vested interest in participating in the community because he knows that the community is what makes his business successful. And my drycleaner does not need a model to tell him to do any of those things.
And no, I am not entirely against tracking metrics - I just think we've used them as a cruch for so long that we have forgotten how to think for ourselves and use our judgement to solve problems. And sure, it is easier - you can blame the data if your data-driven decision somehow doesn't turn out well - but is that the best leadership we can hope for?
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