Thursday, 28 April 2011


All right we’ve talked about the amoeba like qualities of a business community and why we have to evolve from having a static, transactional based database to a space where people who love what you do interact with each other. Sometimes you’ll organise this, occasionally the community will organise themselves. BMW doesn’t organised the Mini Club rally’s that take place on sunny Summer afternoons!
What’s critical in this process and what binds your business community is its connections. The connections between your employees, their customers, suppliers, their customers customers, competitors and you! You’ll map this connection visually once a year (we’re working on a model at the moment.) This will show connection lines, participation lines, influencing lines, prospecting lines and information channels.
Once you’ve mapped it, you can start to influence it yourself. This is where the new marketing tactics complement direct mail, telesales and advertising. This is not about stakeholders, like an overladen plane, that really never took off. This is about the regular convening of groups of people, facilitated by you across cross-sections of your business community with common interests. We’ll call them hot groups an evolvement of Jean Lipman- Bluemen and Harold J Leavitt’s idea! Where WOM and viral really can take hold.
It will eventually develop into an eco-system that thrives on information and knowledge flow. It will mean your organisation unlearning and letting go of lots of stuff:
Control to facilitation Marketing to business communities Closed to open Broadcast to socialRestriction to freedom Management to leadership

I’ve seen this working with a few clients and organisations and its fascinating, powerful, enlightening and inspiring watching companies engage with their ‘database’ sorry ‘business community’ in a very, very different and dynamic way!

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