October 25, 2010

Commitment & Will Power

Commitment is a funny word.  For years as a single male, I feared that word. Or did I pretend to fear that word when in fact I wanted commitment all along? Being in a fun marriage with a beautiful wife and the cutest daugther I could imagine, commitment is certainly not a thing to be scared of.

But what about commitment to work? Or better yet, commitment to working hard? Is that something people fear or are they just not willing to put in the effort?

A recent blog post by Kathy Hanbury discussed content strategy and her steps in how to make the process less difficult. The steps she outlined are the right process and if you actually take out the word content, they can work for any marketing, communications or related initiative.  What really stood out to me though was this quote:

"It's not hard to figure out what needs to be done. The challenge is in mustering the commitment and will power to do it."

This is so right on so many levels. Personally, I think it always comes down to effort.  Whether it's being successful in digital marketing and social media, in sports, in content strategy, in relationships, in  your work or in anything in life. Not everyone puts in the effort and nearly everyone has a lapse in effort at some point. Many times, commitment - an actual, real concerted commitment to make something better - and effort is what puts some people ahead on the depth chart. Are you putting in the effort and commitment?

October 11, 2010

The Structure of Success

About a month back, I caught via Twitter a blog post by a former Twitter employee, Alex Payne. He shared his thoughts about the #newtwitter, the site's role changing in users' lives and that it would be his last post about Twitter. Great read, but what really caught my attention were two quotes about decentralization.

"Twitter needs to decentralize or it will die. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even in a decade, but it was (and, I think, remains) my belief that all communications media will inevitably be decentralized"

"Decentralization isn’t just a better architecture, it’s an architecture that resists censorship and the corrupting influences of capital and marketing."

Both statements may be a little foreboding, but they are grounded in aspects of reality. While Alex was focusing on the decentralization of Twitter as a business versus a medium, the centralization versus decentralization argument has been going on within organizations for decades. In my world, the debate has been within the marketing function of a business.

A centrally shared services group allows for collaboration and consistency. They can streamline messaging and branding. The group can identify and leverage best practices, maximize efficiencies in operations and resources, and minimize any duplication of communication efforts and service purchases.

The decentralized units hold the knowledge and expertise for their respective business and most understand their audience. They are product experts and market specialists. They truly own the content and marketing programs that can deliver on meeting business goals.

I've been in marketing organizations that have been centralized and in ones that have been decentralized; and in an organization that has been both at different times. You can find success in either, but the ideal organizational structure is a hybrid model. It can provide the benefits of each without many of the cons. This is where I have seen the best of both worlds come together.

It is difficult to deliver on though. Much of it depends on the culture and the people within the organization. Both need to be collaborative. If successful, a hybrid of centralized and decentralized services leads to a coordinated, yet empowered organization. It will be the structure of which most organizations will need to be to succeed in the near future.