Ever missed an important meeting because you were late? If you missed the meeting then you missed the opportunity to take part in the discussion.
Ever missed an engagement with a customer? Missing customer engagements could mean you lose the customer.
Ever missed your spouse birthday because you were too busy to pay attention? Missing such an event means it wasn’t important enough to make it your priority. Being late can cause problems which then sucks up your time trying to solve the problem.
Being late means you missed something that could be very important to your business, your life and your relationships. Being late to a conversation could mean you missed what was being discussed. What is discussed may be extremely relevant to your intentions to do something, anything with someone or everyone.
Being Late to Market
If you have a great idea, a new product or significant news about your business you don’t want to be late bringing the information to the market. Being late means someone else could beat your idea or new product by informing the market before you do. Chasing markets and competitors is a difficult and non-productive task. Having markets and competitors chase you is more productive and a better position. Consider Steve Jobs strategy. He is never late because he is usually first. His communications to the marketplace disrupts markets and causes everyone to chase that which he creates. In other words he is never late rather always first.
Too Late for Social Media?
Social media are disrupting the game of business. The related technologies are accelerating the dynamics of every market, every business and everything we ever knew about communications. Communication – which in the end is what digital technology and media are all about – is not just a sector of the economy. Communication IS the economy.
The dynamics of the human network interfacing with digital technology are increasingly following the logic of networks. Understanding how all this works is the key to understanding how the economy, your economy, works.
Today’s communications technology is outside the control of any authority and the corporate monopolists. The Internet — which is growing rapidly without any investment, planning or direction whatsoever, has created dynamics opposite of traditional business models and organizational structures.
There is no manual for participation rather participation is mandatory if you intend on being in the game. Doing case studies about this new dynamic using old mental models means you will not only be late but wrong in your assumptions.
Seth Godin writes: Put aside your need for a step-by-step manual and instead realize that analogies are your best friend. By the time there is a case study in your specific industry, it’s going to be way too late for you to catch up.
Learning is a participatory process requiring the mind, body and soul to engage in the process. You can’t learn about social media and the emerging dynamics unless you engage. Learning from the engagement starts by listening and if you aren’t listening well you’ll be too late to the game. Being late to the game means you’ll be playing catch up while your competition leads the entire market of conversations to their conversation, not yours.
Missing the conversation means you missed a critical learning opportunity that could cost you everything.