Our Thinking

Baseline Capability and Campaigns

Have you ever been in a situation where despite your best efforts, you cannot make headway?  Or where you feel like a fish swimming upstream?  This inertia – resistance to the new – is a key reason why implementing change is so difficult.  It’s also why selling new products to clients or new ideas to colleagues is so hard.

While there are many ways to address the challenge, two fundamental concepts are baseline capability and campaigns.   (Baseline capability refers to the existing knowledge, capabilities, and momentum within an organization.  Campaign refers to activities that are tied to an event or objective.  Too often organizations (and individuals) confuse the two, particularly in the area of Social Media.  I explored this from a different perspective here, but it is important enough to look at again.

Baseline capability means embedding the social mindset and activities within each silo of your organization, so that it becomes part of everyone’s “day job”.  Too often, Social Media is driven exclusively through marketing and sales – yet connecting externally is everyone’s job.  Some examples:

  • HR:  The use of Social Media for candidate sourcing, reference checking, new staff orientation, etc.
  • Customer Service: Monitoring and action on service issues on the public social networks, product support forums, etc.
  • Supply Chain:  e-Procurement, crowdsourced vendor ratings, online support forums, etc.

Of course, developing a baseline capability also means loosening firewall restrictions for social sites, employee and management training, and communications.

By being socially strong on the inside, there will be stronger connections on the outside.  Driving the ongoing, day-to-day engagement level of the base is critical, as a particular campaign will use this base to reach outward. The two are multipliers.

This week’s action plan:  What is your personal Social Baseline Capability?  Specifically, what are the everyday things that you are doing to establish your professional network in the Social space?  Doing these on an ongoing basis will multiply the effectiveness  of any future “campaigns” (job search, professional support, business development, etc.)

Management insight:  Choose a project or idea that you have not been making headway on, and decide if the problem is your approach to getting buy-in, or with the underlying environment that you are in.  If the latter, choose one thing that you can do to improve the general receptivity to your ideas, before doing your specific ask.  Build your real-world baseline capability.

Since 1994, Randall Craig has advised on web and social media strategy. He is the President of 108 ideaspace inc. and author of six books including the Online PR and Social Media series. More information about Randall Craig can be found at ideas108.wpengine.com.

Randall Craig

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