October has begun and with it the darkness rises. Our darkest desires come to the surface and ghouls and goblins walk freely among us. Vampires have been a staple of the season since Bram Stoker introduced the world to the dark prince known only as Dracula. A lot of situations in business (especially social business) call for a solid plan and passive knowledge of systems and scenarios, but sometimes you have to throw on your warpaint and prepare for battle.
Training for battle is one thing, but arming yourself for battle against the undead is another.
When those pale-skinned, undead bastards set their sights on sucking the life out of the nubile Social Business you’ve been building, it’s important you know how to arm yourself and you’re ready for a fight.
Before we can understand the tools though, we need to understand the foes.
Social Business Vampires
Social Business Vampires are those people inside or outside your organization that are stuck in the old world. They exist only to feed off the business and give nothing in return. They’ve spent their lives only receiving sustenance from their hosts and living in a state of perpetual stasis.
To fight them, you’ll need the right tools and weapons. Here’s what you’ll need:
1) Holy Water
You all know the importance of bringing along an Executive Champion on your Social Business journey, but it’s important to have a system in place where some of the “power from the top” is available for use.
In all vampire stories, holy water is an important tool; but it never comes in unlimited supply. If it did, you could simply fill up a firetruck with holy water and go on a vampire ass-kicking joyride, or simply replace all the regular water in the world with holy water and problem solved. Holy water is precious and must be used sparingly.
Just like holy water won’t come in unlimited buckets, your executive power will have limites as well, but you have to be confident that you can make decisions and moves with the support of your executive champion and his cohorts. If you need an imperative system in place, you need to know that can happen, or if you need a troublemaker dealt with or moved departments, you need to be confident in your word and the power backing it up.
Don’t go into any battle with the undead without some sort of supply.
Garlic is repulsive to vampires. The chemistry is rarely, if ever, explained, but what we know for sure is that Rachael Ray would be a stellar Van Helsing accomplice.
Your garlic will come in the form of team support and joint confidence in your Social Business plan. Social Business Vampires hate being the only ones on the wrong side of a company stake (more on that below). The prefer to bite and poison those around them to build armies for static mediocrity. Build into your plan a training system designed to build internal support and enthusiasm for the future plans.
The support will force the vampires into solitude and at the same time bring the future of the company into the sunlight, which we also know kills the evil inside of vampires.
The one thing we all know that kills vampires for good are wooden stakes. Vampire skin is rock-solid, impenetrable to anything but wood (for whatever reason). A wooden stake through the heart is the sure-fire way to end the existence of any vampire, Blade would be proud.
Build importance and stakes into your Social Business plan. Make what you’re doing vital to the future of the brand. Since Social Business Vampires like things the way they are and are sustaining their existence through the status quo, changing things and building stakes into the future will build a barrier they can’t cross without destroying what is giving them life, thereby killing them in the process.
The stakes must be big enough to be dangerous and sturdy enough to uphold in a fight, or they’ll break under the pressure. These must be fashioned before the fight begins.
So, are you ready for battle? Will you be able to steady your feet when the undead hordes are cascading upon your future?
Come to the fight with the right weapons and the right team and you’ll walk away victorious. Some may lose their footing along the way, but your future will be secure, if only you’re ready for the fight.
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