Elmo is the world’s favorite furry Sesame Street red monster. In fact, to date, he’s the most recognizable children’s character in the United States according to research from Marketing Evaluations, Inc.
There’s much we can learn from Elmo and his preschool fundamentals taught to preschoolers. Especially in your organization’s business agility.
Lesson #1: Don’t Eat All The Cookies
After more than 30 years consulting companies of all sizes on how to manage their technology, self awareness is something too many senior executives ignore.
Elmo professes to children to be self aware of oneself. As in don’t gobble up all the cookies at once. Companies with 10 or 10,000 employees suffer the same challenge. Usually in regard to how they embrace managing their computer resources.
Does your company focus only on tasks to manage the demands of your short-term business? If so, you may be missing out on new trends within your industry. Are you self aware of your company’s negatives? Take a hard look and you may just realize it’s time to retool your organization.
Lesson #2: Face Your Digital Fears
Face it. Every IT manager worth their weight in gold worries about one thing. Network meltdown. They should for good reason.
However, fear-based outdated technology infrastructures are usually just a poor excuse for accepting if things aren’t broke, why fix them?
According to the Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, fear is defined as being afraid of something or someone. Thus, it’s human nature to avoid facing new business technologies that cause your team members to fear the unknown.
Do you have a 12-24 month digital plan to streamline your business growth? Can you pinpoint why your competition is the market leader?
These are hard questions that will no doubt serve up feelings of fear searching for the answers. Although smart executives realize only the brave survive.
Lesson #3: Perseverance
The Apple iPod or iPad: which came first? If you guessed the iPod, you’re among millions of other users who assume the popular music download device came first. Wrong.
Actually, upon Steve Job’s return to Apple in 1997, the company purchased his previous brainchild startup NeXT which had built one of the first versions of the iPad.
However, Jobs new the consumer market would need to be educated on the power of PDA technology as an entertainment device. Hence, the iPad was shelved for more than five years making way for the release of the Apple iPod.
It was his intuitive perseverance combined with his business agility which gave him valuable insight how launching the iPad would be a mistake.
Lesson #4: Consumer Empathy
Elmo teaches children to connect with the feelings of others. Are you doing the same with your customers?
Don’t reach for your marketing department’s recent research report. Often consumer empathy is confused with trying to pinpoint your consumers needs and wants. Big mistake.
Agile businesses are beginning to see the value how consumers feel about their brand and products. In an all-time classic dating back to 1993, Al Ries and Jack Trout’s 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing (HarperCollins Press) profess your company’s most profitable revenue source isn’t churning out products and services. Instead, it’s being at the top of the minds of your consumers.
Do you regularly evaluate how your products and services are perceived by your clients and customers? Is there something you could be doing better?
Whether it’s investing in new technology to upgrade customer support or building better ways to prove they care about product enhancements, savvy companies of all sizes are revisiting their value message.