Has The Old Become New?

by Jay Deragon on 01/31/2008

Has The Old Become New?When you boil down all the nuances of the social web “it” reveals old knowledge dressed up and distributed in new technology.

Dressed up in “words”, everyone has their own spin as to what the intersection of human behavior and advanced technology means.

The media runs daily with opinions and analysis, the blogosphere abounds with opinions and everyone everywhere gets different messages and subsequent meanings from the written word. And the word said…….

The conversational rivers swell with an attraction that draws millions like a magnet. Everyone is trying to figure out the next development, announcement and subsequent meaning. Books by everyone and anyone, (yes even our own book) are hitting the presses and the subject matter dominates the virtual bookshelves.

Are We Learning Anything New?

Max Kalehoff, of Online Spin writes: “If I had to source Einstein quotes as chapter titles for a modern-day marketing book, here are the ones I’d likely pick. The beauty of these chapter titles is that they can live on their own, without the padding of excess words and long-winded narratives in between. While they are timeless, I offered my own commentary to connect to our year, 2008.”

1. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” So why not cultivate imagination? Why not seek it out when screening new hires, or emphasize it in professional development, or cherish it when problem-solving?

2. “A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.” What really are you trying to achieve? How well is your mission defined? Perfection of everything else is meaningless if you and your organization don’t know where you’re headed. This is where leadership begins.
3. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” This is an ideology of humbleness, selflessness and authenticity. Embodying this ideology creates longer-term, competitive advantage. Value to customer is what really matters, not whether you’re successful. You’ll end up successful if you create value.

4. “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” In an increasingly quant-driven marketplace, it’s easy to obsess on what you can count and disregard the rest. This paradox contributes to the confusion of aims mentioned above. To be successful, it’s critical to find alternative means of codifying and leveraging the important things you can’t count.

5. “Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” Perhaps violence is less relevant in most businesses, but size and complexity are major problems. For reasons I can’t explain, marketers too often get obsessed with size and complexity — as if they’re desirable. The fact is they’re the opposite, and they’re offensive jabs at our most precious assets: time and attention. Marketers may not see this, but customers do. Customers delight in simplicity and efficient use of space and time.

6. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” This is true for internal employee communications, as well as customer communications. Master your subject matter so you can confidently pick the language, concepts and style that communicate with the greatest ease and efficiency.

7. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Mistakes and losses should actually be rewarded. Fear and low tolerance for mistakes breads stagnant cultures and boring products.

8. “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” When you enable passion, you drive focus, cultivate mastery, leverage spontaneity, foster creativity, build intuition and live toward mission. The dots connect, clarity emerges.

9. “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” Truth is paramount, but carelessness with what is small is a window into how one may handle anything large. The small stuff matters.

10. “Most people say that is it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.” Same for marketing and business in general. Need I say more?

Much of today’s messages concerning the social web are creating confusion for businesses and professionals alike. Some of the messages discuss strategic issues, some technological, some tactical and others operational. Sorting through the meanings requires a categorizations of the opinions. Max’s comments addresses the philosophical which is the beginning point of “how and what” one thinks. From the how and what our minds naturally move to action when we perceive meaning of value.

All the different meanings are creating different actions, some good, some bad. What meaning does the social web bring to you?

What say you?


Dvd Player And Recorder May 20, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Interesting post. Were would you got all the information from… 🙂

Mark Kerrigan January 31, 2008 at 8:26 am

WOW! Phenomenal post, Jay.
Max Kalehoff boils down the clichés to apply to today’s business world. The “truisms” sometimes seem paradoxical – but true all the same – and other times leave the reader saying, “Duh. Why didn’t I think of that?”

The quote, “A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.” is true to any number of businesses. When businesses and people, for that matter, try to diversifyeir “product-line,” whatever it may be, ALL areas of the business suffer. In terms of the individual, all areas of life suffer.

Do you think there’s something behind the old adage “Jack of all trades, master of none?”

How ’bout it?

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