A few months ago I sent out an article that posed the theory that you should try to make your job irrelevant–the thought being that you don’t want to tie yourself to “web marketing” since eventually the “web” part will simply be implied. One of the ideas in the article is that companies are still adapting to the web and under-utilizing its potential, exactly as factory owners did when electricity became available and they insisted on building them near water–which they no longer needed for power.
The author of that article, Paul Boag, is releasing a book this year and gave an interview with Future Insights that I thought was brilliant. He completely nails many of the issues that companies today are struggling as they to adapt or, more likely, how unaware they are of the potential that the web brings.
Some of the quotes:
“Bureaucracies are honed by the past and almost never can they deal effectively with the future.”
“[Bureaucracy] makes sense if you’ve got a stable environment where everything works in a consistent and logical manner, but when you have a huge shift, like we’re seeing at the moment with digital, what companies do is try to crowbar the Web into their existing departmental structure, where it doesn’t fit.”
“…when it comes to the Web, change is really easy. It’s not like sending something to print, you can change and adapt [the Web] as you go along. These procedures and committees are just slowing things down.”
“[Cross-collaboration and breaking down barriers] are the kinds of things that need addressing in most organisations, as well as the finite project mentality, where you build your website and you move on to the next thing. If you look at Mailchimp, they’re constantly evolving their offering over time.”
“We need to step up and start leading when it comes to digital. The response a lot of people have is, ‘no one’s given me the authority to do that,’ but that’s because they don’t recognize there’s a need. You’ve just got to start doing it.”
I highly recommend reading the entire interview: