(THIS IS THE 2nd POST IN A WEEKLY THEME OF SOCIAL BUSINESS FAILURES WITH THE INTENT TO LEARN FROM EACH OTHER. PLEASE ALLOW US TO LEARN FROM YOU BY POSTING YOUR COMMENTS BELOW.)
When I first tried to introduce social technologies to a company I learned one of my biggest lessons: Stats can only go so far.
I was asked to create a presentation for the Executives on social technologies and why we should use them. The charts focused on facts and figures: what social technology is, why we would benefit from it, the assumed ROI, etc. Honestly, it was a poor attempt because there were very little information about this working inside an organization. Coming up with numbers and facts was difficult.
Two (out of many) hurdles loomed in front of me: my boss and the Director of IT.
My boss thought it was a good idea, but he wasn’t sold. At least until he experienced the value first hand. At that point, I could have given him lousy stats and facts – it would not have mattered because he experienced it and knew for himself the value.
The Director of IT was against me during this whole process. One day he came to me and said, “I was going to shut this whole project down yesterday (because it was not going as smooth as other IT projects). But I decided to give it one more chance and I spent all night researching what you were trying to do. I get it now and I am behind you 100 percent. Tell me what you need me to do.”
From these experiences I learned that 1) experiences & 2) stories (in that order) are much more powerful than stats. Granted, we have to have the stats, but the heart will beat out numbers any day. Stats don’t move us to action – our emotions do. When we hear stories that resonate and when we have an experience, our emotions play a big part in how we will react. Shoot for the heart, not only the mind.
Questions to answer:
- How can we capture stories?
- What should we do with the stories?
- What if an executive only wants the stats or only gives you time to present stats?
- How do you help people create their own experiences?
I’d love your feedback!