Whenever I’m presenting New and Social Media topics to a group, I’ve found that the audience falls into three categories:
- Those who “Get it”— a small group of people who latch onto the message. They typically embrace new technologies and are willing to try new ways of doing things. I’ve also found that these folks generally have very good “people skills,” are comfortable talking with others, enjoy sharing opinions, and treat people with respect.
- The Traditionals are people who not only don’t “get it,” but refuse to “get it.” The Traditional is a control freak. Someone who has been trained in controlling the corporate message. Any hints at relinquishing this control sends their hearts into abnormal heart rhythms. Traditionals will use any disruptive tactic they can to derail New Media related discussions. I’ve heard them all: “New and Social Media doesn’t work with my customers,” or “That stuff only works in (fill in the blank).”
- “Running With Scissors” People “get it” but in a very dangerous way. These are the same folks who’ll dive into a pool without knowing where the deep end is. They’re always willing to try something new, but are so excited about the tools and technologies that they forget why they are using the tools in the first place. Running With Scissors folks need a special type of manager, someone to pull back on the reigns so that nobody puts an eye out.
Of the three, the Traditionals are the toughest to deal with. I’ve spent many a day butting heads with them, but was really surprised when one of my favorite authors took the Traditional’s side. David Meerman Scott produced this short (1:22) video proving the Traditionals right…that not all businesses use the Internet to find their products and services.
I stand corrected:-)