The Problem With Solutions

Yes. Solutions can, indeed, be problematic. Take a minute and consider what you've done this year that's been completely new for your organization. Which of those things worked? What was a success?

At the core of success stories today is that the low hanging fruit of one person being empowered to do their job or even a team being wholly more efficient are practically gone. The wins live in between people and teams. Siloes are sometimes efficient, but really bad at manifesting big wins. The big wins these days are the only wins.

Are they low hanging? Nope. Are they huge? You better believe it.

I'll take a stab at what was hard about your wins:

  • People's jobs changed
  • The team needed to retool with new talent (and part with old teammates)
  • You bought software. Then had to buy some more to make the first thing work.

The truth is, too, that it's far easier to buy a feature or serve a specific request than it is to solve a fundamental need. For our partners, those fundamental needs are very basic - increase engagement and support. Will a mobile app do that? Or a day of giving? Or a better email tool? Maybe. In all likelihood, it'll require all of those things and then a lot more on top.

Who does all that? Well, there's no ONE person, but, rather, a team.  That team might include a project manager, someone who understands integrated marketing, media mix modeling, predictive modeling, content creation, and a lot more. And someone to strategically tie it all together. Do you have a media mix modeller on staff? Is there a strategic and tenured integrated marketing expert in house? If not, what's the answer? How do you solve big needs in a tactical way? Are some of those jobs filled by software? Is it one package (not that we've seen)? How does all that software harmoniously co-exist?

Answering all of that is exactly what 2016 and beyond are all about. A lot of what we've depended on people to do, with the rise of AI, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing can now be done more meaningfully at a greater scale and with better results by software. What of our work is truly human? What is human today, but soon better addressed by software? Whether leadership or early tenure, you should be obsessed with the answers to these questions.

Nick Zeckets