Of course I get direction from those higher up the food chain in my organization. The company’s strategies are theirs. My job is to amplify, to tidy and finesse, occasionally even caress.
There is but one problem with this funnel from top to bottom, or top to outside. Our audiences prefer something different. For sure, if I want to know the outlook to 2020, the CEO is the person for the job. But if I want to understand the values, if I want to decide if I want a job there, ANYONE is preferable than a “leader.”
The problem with leaders is they try to hard. They want to please everyone and be all knowing to all people. The audience instinctively resists such an approach. They want to see the whites of your eyes, they want to take the pulse of the organization – and pretty much anyone is better at delivering that than the leader.
Authenticity is in common supply in our organization. As we build out our social content platform, we reach out to those further from the centre, to those who are delivering the service, “at the coal face” so to speak.
We make 100+ videos a year at work, and most of them are exec driven, but those that are not tend to be the most watched, and even within a video collage of voices, it is the “normal” voice that is most in demand. YouTube analytics offers an audience retention feature, and you can map the peaks and troughs of the viewership against the content. One commonality I usually find: the peak (relative) viewership is when the most “average” voice is speaking.
I write “average” in quotes, because that voice is anything but. That voice is the real voice of the organization. That is the voice of the future of the organization too, a voice antifragile, loud and pure. Unlocking that voice is my mandate, my focus. It is also, frustratingly, difficult to access and amplify, fraught with perceived political danger as net work (sic) collides with hierarchical history. There is much work to be done.
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