Have you every seen a common act in a circus or vaudeville show called plate spinning? Clowns or performers keep an incredibly high number of plates spinning on the end of poles. It’s entertaining because it looks like they can keep a high number of plates spinning at one time. Consider how many companies that use an approach like this to being successful in the market place.
I address this common issue in the book I am writing. Individuals and businesses have several things in common, and one of them is they have limits on their resources. As individuals, we never know how much time we have to accomplish our life goals, and research has proven that we only maintain 150 relationships at any given time. Having an unlimited source of money will not ensure we have personal satisfaction. Unless we are careful, the sacrifices that are made to get more money will make our pursuit of happiness more like following a perpetual rabbit trail. Many of these same realities of life that apply to individuals influence businesses as well.
In our personal lives we know that we can only keep so many plates spinning at any one time, and if we always are pushing to add more, eventually many of them will come crashing down. I believe this concept is alive and well for companies that are trying to maintain their relevance in today’s changing marketplace. Social media, and technology have changed many of the age-old marketing principles that corporations have used. Too often more established companies simply grab a new plate, and start spinning it in an attempt to address the opportunities presented by social media or technology. It’s not that simple.
We know that Apple, Google, and Microsoft are three of the largest companies in the U.S. stock market. When you take a close look at them it’s hard to find the lines between their social media face and their internal corporate face. That’s because it’s not just another spinning plate, but more of an integrated part of each portion of the company. Integrating social media participation for your internal employees and customers can boost the integration and reduce the likelihood it becomes an isolated spinning plate that falls if someone is not constantly spinning it.
When you consider the three big buckets of limited resources; time, money, and people. Having a more comprehensive approach to using social media can make the biggest impact on the people bucket, more specifically; it can reach more buyers, users, and opinion makers out there in the market. Not to mention the plate spinner has special knowledge and tools to keep the plates spinning. He uses special plates, and special poles, and has a specific process. This all relates back to current business philosophies, which I discuss more in my book.
Mike Hintz is President of Northlink Consulting that partners with companies to optimize their sales channel by strengthening insights and boosting alignment. His balanced approach encourages meaningful transformation.