Image via Wikipedia
I have had a few careers so far: professional musician, music teacher/band director, software developer, college instructor, technology specialist for developers, consultant, product planner and product manager. Every one of them, along with every other subject I’ve ever studied and things for which I have a passion, are what I bring to what I do. My primary motivator in each of these is helping people (OK, so playing music is helping people enjoy themselves….or so I hope…).
As I become more involved with “the business” end of what I do, I am concerned that the people in all of the meeting rooms I’m in lose contact with the individuals that we’re in business to enable. Granted, when there are discussions about markets that consist of hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people, the scope of identifying with each and every one of them becomes too much. That is no excuse; you can still hold before you, in your mind’s eye, a number of representative individuals. Here is where I feel social media and digital media information and tools come in.
The understanding that comes from all of the reading, writing, researching, discussing, absorbing, synthesizing and pondering gives me the framework for looking at challenges, problems and new things I’ve never confronted before. My colleagues in my cohort and others, being diverse and very bright, allow me the environment in which I can question, contribute and stretch myself in directions I never knew I could or even wanted to go. I am ending up in a very different place. I like it here.
The corporate world needs individuals who have a better grip on this space. Some companies are lucky. They have hired a large number of people who swim in this world like fish up and down the hierarchy. However, an even greater number of companies are not that fortunate. I think sometimes that the size of the company has something to do with that. This transparent, open channel with customers and businesses can be hard to embrace (see The Cluetrain Manifesto) for any number of reasons. But it is not going away and is becoming more critical to business success, regardless of what the business is…..and customers are starting to expect it.
This brings me to what I see myself coming to as a result of this effort. I do not pretend to be able to forecast what will happen (I like to say that the profession most closely identified with the word “forecast” is meteorologist, and I can feel good if I come anywhere near that level of accuracy). However, I feel much more capable to work through the changes we are in and those that will come thanks to what I’m experiencing in this program. I see myself not only helping others, but bringing a clearer understanding of the opportunities in and fluidity of the social media and digital media streams.
Like I said, I want to help.