The day comes and he surprises his spouse with a trip to the local Golden Arches. He gets a weird look shot at him and he respond with, “Ya, I know it’s cheap, but it IS dinner. At least we are doing that! But wait for the after dinner festivities!”
So, they slug through some Quarter Pounders with cheese, fries, a drink and of course a hot fudge sundae shared. Then they leave with promises that the next adventure will be better. They round the corner and the big SEARS signs welcomes them. None too excited, she goes along with it. They walk in and he says, ” I know you have always wanted a ___(fill in the blank)____ and now we can get one.” She is excited! They go over to the (FITB) section and she says, “Let’s get a sales guy to help us pick out the best one and learn how to use it.”
“Oh, no can do. You see, I worked out a deal with them. If I don’t ask for help we will get it for cheaper.”
“But how will we know which one to choose? And how will we learn how to use it?”
“Ya, well, we will have to figure that one out on our own. Sure, it will take longer, but think about the amount of money we are saving!”
It is about this time that we, as readers of the story, can take a step back and laugh, knowing that this would never happen in real life.
Companies do this constantly. I have seen this so many times (and I am sure you have, too). Can we expect this couple to stay happily married for long? Probably not. Why? Where is his focus? What about the relationship between company and employee? Aren’t both the husband and company just looking out for the bottom line, doing what is best fiscally? If that is truly all they can do, then that might be the sweetest gift. Yet so many times we know that isn’t the case.
When we go cheap with social business we might look for the free software (at least on the front end) and not consider anything else. Or maybe not put the technical resources behind it to make sure it runs well. Or maybe not hire someone who knows how to help a company adopt it (hoping the “build it and they will come” might work).
But it never does. Here is the low down. It will take the money. Remember, this is not about technology. If you do it on the cheap it reflects on you. Do it right. If you decide to jump into social business, do it right. Hire the right people. Buy the right software. Put it on the right hardware. Give the team the time and resources they need to do it right. Not that you have to be extravagant, but put the commitment forth that will lead to success. If you are throwing it out there just to appease, I would suggest not doing it at all.