It's amazing to think about just how many business organizations still underestimate the power of the Web, even though it's a proven, measurable channel for helping brands hit-or surpass their business goals. Of course, it's more than just a channel. The Internet is a platform. It's a market opportunity. It could be an entire division within your company!
The #1 issue that seems to hold back firms from fully embracing all that the Internet offers is old school management thinking. The culture kills the cat, so to speak. With little or no experience in this area -- many seasoned managers who lack the skills needed to make the Web work for their business go on the attack (sabotaging, naysaying, stalling and backtracking) so that forward progress cannot be attained. Those who perceive the Internet opportunity as a threat tend to fight. Those who see the Web as an opportunity tend to embrace and advocate instead.
Once companies do start to play in this arena, they usually do so on the cheap-cheap, with equally inexperienced internal talent, miniscule budgets and unrealistic ROI expectations. Then they stumble their way forward without seeking help from consultants or agencies who might be able to guide them into a web strategy that will work for them. Old school managers then point to their failures as reasons not to redouble their efforts to make the Web work for them.
We see this time and time again. Hard to change this type of culture. Similar to an alcoholic in denial, they almost need to hit rock bottom -- losing market share to a competitor, forced to lay off employees due to a lack of sales, or when a new market entrant comes along who ONLY does business online and then proceeds to clean their clock by utilizing the web much more efficiently. Seem far fetched? It's not. It's happening to businesses everywhere. No category of companies is immune from the Web Effect.
What can be done within an organization to right size a firm's dysfunctional Web strategy? Will Rogers once said that the best way to make a fire with two sticks is to make sure one of them is a match. We believe a sea change can start with one amazing individual. It takes but a single employee with a vision, armed with the raw skills and fearless vision for what can be achieved. With a skin as thick as armor, this brave change agent will not be stopped by words such as; no, can't, shouldn't, don't, won't. Instead they will be emboldened to overcome negative obstacles by climbing over, digging under and going around these barriers in a productive way.
Teaching the old school dogs a few new Web tricks won't be easy. But nothing in life worth fighting for is ever easy, is it?
Like the tiny ripples in a stagnant pond, the Web Effect begins when a single finger is dipped into stagnant water. Waves in motion are transformed into energy. Energy can be harnessed into power. Power and persistence can conquer all resistance.