Masai. Ona. Inuit. Chibcha. Iroquois. Gurage. Aborigine. Are these the names that come to mind when you think of a tribe?
Anthropologists use the term to refer to societies organised largely on the basis of kinship and more recently commentators are using it to explain the phenomenal growth of social networking.
As human beings we are pre-programmed to belong. We like being part of a crowd. There is comfort in concensus. It’s good to know that we are not alone.
What new technology has given us is the ability to ‘multi-tribe’. To connect not only with our current work colleagues, but with ones that have moved on but retained an interest in the same area as us, and with peers who face similar challenges to us in their day-to-day working lives. It enables us to join forces with others who share our passion for a cause, or a sports team or a particular entertainer.
What drives the tribe are the leaders and the creators, the individuals who are prepared to step out from the crowd to declare their interest and their point of view. In business these are the people who make or spot a trend and are willing to make the first move. If they have read the signs well they will be followed by the early adopters who will begin to create the groundswell that will altimately draw in the crowds.
The question is… Are you a leader, someone who is driving the agenda, manoeuvring your message and your marketing strategy to attract clients and customers to your tribe? Or are you one of the crowd?
I know which one I would rather be.
Changing attitudes is hard. Particularly when people believe that what you are talking about could really shake up the status quo.
When we talk about our passion for changing business practices through groundbreaking technology we get a variety of responses:
- Event management companies look at the virtual technologies, compare them with their live offering and are generally dismissive, despite results from our recent survey saying that 80% of event directors/managers/organisers think that virtual events represent a real opportunity for the events industry.
- Corporates who are already using or building different forms of virtual communication technologies can’t quite believe that the technology is as advanced as it is, and are blown away by the simplicity and the capabilities of the system we use – 6Connex®.
- Business leaders listen politely, technology isn’t their thing, then they have what we call a ‘confetti bomb’ moment, when they suddenly realise just what we can deliver.
Virtual events and connective marketing are not just concepts. They are business changing reality and they are available right now.
People have been doing things virtually for a very long time already: from pilots trained in flight simulators to buying your train tickets online; building virtual farms on Facebook to checking out health symptoms on NHS Direct; we don’t even question the process. Twenty years ago the insurance agent came to your house to arrange your car insurance, now you gocompare. Was that so hard?
It’s time to embrace virtual technologies to create collaborative communities that make a real difference to the way the world does business.
… or bringing up the rear?
If you don’t spot the innovation coming you can pretty much guarantee that you have missed the big growth curve. But that might be OK for you, if you are happy just riding along on the end of the wave. It’s not as exciting though is it?
And if you are producing the same events, magazines and marketing you were 10 years ago, clinging onto an old business model that is still delivering the goods (just) you are definitely stuck.
Stuck in the mud. Stuck in a rut. Stuck in a working pattern that is ignoring the fundamental shift in business practices that is happening all around you if you would only stop and look and listen.
And changing it is. So fundamentally and radically that in five years time the media landscape will be unrecognisable. LinkedIn and Facebook, and other networking sites, will be the new broadcast media pushing groups of likeminded, engaged and empowered communities to their own networks; instant online solutions will deliver knowledge sharing and collaboration across national and cultural boundaries. It will be a very small world indeed.
So where will you be? At the forefront of this global revolution or sitting on the sidelines waiting for someone to tell you what to do, or worse sitting there because everything your business is built on today simply vanished overnight?