Leaders generally have a vision that drives them, but selling people on it is not always straight forward. What one person can see clearly is not usually shared by the next person.
When you are marketing your vision, you need to be mindful of your communications and adjust, be it to for staff, clients, a Board, financial supporters or just family and friends. What you share and how you share it will need to be different for each audience and indeed you may have subsets of each of those audiences.
Successful leaders don't just have a vision, they lead you there. Sometimes that can mean getting your hands dirty and opening the door for people. Other times it can mean recognising your own limitations so power can be transferred to those who have the ability to deliver.
The point is you need to take people on a journey and not plant yourself too far in front of them. On a practical level I see this regularly with brands who see themselves as 'innovative' and wonder why some or all of their audiences are not as excited as them.
Let me explain...
From the video
Innovation has become one of those most popular terms being used by companies, non-for-profits all over the place.
And the real danger with innovation is you can take that leap too far when it comes to your communication. What do I mean?
Well, it's very all very well to have a vision of where you want to go and in fact it may even be something that you're actively doing right now. But if you give everybody everything all at once, well you run the risk of leaving a lot of people behind because
- they may not be ready to be on that journey or
- have a long way to go to catch up to you.
So while you are marching further and further down the field with your innovation, they are left further and further behind, and perhaps a little bit disgruntled about where they're going on the journey because they have not been sold on it or they simply have found flaws on what you are doing
But you are so far down the track that you haven't got the chance to listen to them.
So be really careful with your marketing. Don't take people too far down on a journey when they are ready for it.
The AI marketing dilemma
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer something of science fiction, it is real. The fact is it scares a lot of people. They think they will lose their jobs, their independence and thanks to a number of movies, fear the robots will take over the world.
I am working with an organisation right now who have the ability to deliver AI and are grappling with the way to market it. There is so much potential, but it will need to be a slow realisation for people to buy into it. Small uses, small wins by marketing to select groups will start the process.
AI has the ability to save us time and money. It will never replace the human element and our ability to interpret, adapt and respond with an emotion. Easy to say - but it needs a long term marketing plan to sell it. Switching AI on to its full potential right now will never work. It is a vision which is too far ahead of the audience. Baby steps are needed.
The upside is to the bottom line
When you look at Australia, we have long been one of the fastest nations to take up new technology. We love to have the latest and greatest. This is great for business.
Instead of giving everybody everything all at once, you stage over a longer period. You tempt people slowly with each update. You sell each new version, feeding on our emotional need to upgrade.
Mobile phones are the perfect example...the camera is always getting better, extra features are always improving. The screen is always changing. They never make a massive leap, there is always just another slightly improved version. Ultimately it is still doing what it has done for some time, but every two years on average we join the 'upgrade train'.
Don't oversell your vision - take it slow, because it is not just better marketing, it is better business.