There were a few critical points in Charlene Li’s speech and then Christie Hefner’s speech that I want to get to. But before I do an overview of Charlene’s speech.
New term POST
Technology (notice how this is listed last? Charlene pointed out that this is on purpose! In other words don’t execute until you have things thought through!)
Mantra: Embrace your customer to turn revolt into reformation
Ask yourself: How do you turn (customer) revolt into revolution?
Hopefully both speeches will be online later.
What was the high point of the speech for me that told me that a revolution was taking place at Forrester?
It was when Charlene pointed to a technology adoption benchmarking slide and then put a red X through it saying “don’t pay attention to that”!!!!
What does this mean to me? It means that benchmarking it starting to die due to the increased cycle times and shorter shelf life of information. I’ve long felt that you can’t benchmark your way to the top. You have to lead and take risks. To lead and take risks you must have the top generalist thought leaders of our times on your team. People who understand things like search engine optimization as a strategic tool, social media, bottom up communities and cultures, defining a defensible data model from the start and who practice customer listening for their innovation.
After Charlene, Christie Hefner gave an amazing speech about the history of Playboy’s brand and demonstrated how it’s always been customer focused dating back decades and how it’s embracing the demise of the one to many media model. I hadn’t been aware of this but Playboy has had a mobile presence since 2002! Wow.
She also talked about the brands usage in search and have it’s a frequent search term. In fact a quick check of Google trends indicates a large lead in search volume for Playboy over the New York Times.
Her speech was fascinating from the historical side, yet the brand of Playboy is softening as it’s constantly evolving, Charlene’s conversation was far more disruptive and unnerving to many of the people seated around me. Yet it became clear to me that Playboy is a company that has lived many of today’s social media principles long before they were fashionable.
In in the end, it’s all about building a bottom up culture that has the executive support to constantly innovate. Most people don’t get that yet and if they do it’s even more unlikely that they view customers and other stakeholders as critical to success. We are just starting this journey and I can’t wait to participate fully in the fun parts of this revolution to come!