Friday, February 24, 2006

A post for the managers out there

This blogging/transparency/everyone-is-an-evangelist brave new world we find ourselves in has all kinds of sides to it.

Everyone's heard stories about how that ONE customer Dell or some other company ticks off starts a blog that suddenly is a PR nightmare. (e.g. I even got pointed to a podcast where one guy is interpreting that "This call may be recorded for..." support call header message as *permission* to record the call and then broadcast it in his podcast!!! It's called "talk about service")

This post is a nice reminder that the same is true of employees. If you manage employees, are you creating great product & company evangelists, or just the opposite?

Are your employees doing the online (ie. Amplified 1000X) version of this:

(from Church of the Customer Blog).

4 employees. How many people walked past that store that day, didn't buy coffee, and then decided they'd never buy coffee there again? Now put it online where you can't tear the page down...

Mini-microsoft is of course a great example. I *hope* that Scoble and the thousand other Microsoft bloggers (like me!) balance out people's views, but who knows.

I managed a fair number of people during my tenure at Intel, and while I tried to "infect with enthusiasm" through example, I know I often slipped into gripe mode and/or cynical mode. As my manager at the time pointed out, Hanks had it right in Saving Private Ryan - "complain up". Anyhow, while I tried to prioritize their current state of mind & future development, I'm not sure I considered it in the vein of "are they out there right now evangelizing the company or it's products enthusiastically to someone?". And If I'd thought about things that way, would I have done stuff differently?

But I digress. My point was mainly that with all the current day focus of "your customers could be your best proponents", don't forget that your employees better be even better proponents than that.

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