Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Posting twice a year whether you want it or not...

I've grown up. I used to think I could drive change by presenting a compelling argument, backed by statistically defensible data. Ah, youth.

Recently I took part in a Six Sigma project designed to reduce product returns. We did, in fact, determine what was driving returns. And we designed and implemented a fix.

But we did not communicate the fix externally. Our PR and marketing partners wouldn't allow it. There is, as yet, scant appetite for transparent Web 2.0 communications. In my opinion, this is hurting us now, and will hurt a lot more in the future. I was also personally disappointed by this move. It drains one's enthusiasm.

In fact, I'd forgotten the first rule of business, taught me long ago by my older brother: "Good work constantly goes to waste."

More relevant to this column, it made me realize the dangers that emerge when your external communication team has different metrics than the internal team. I want to reduce returns and drive the business. PR wants to avoid the very appearance of evil. Not a good combination.

I swear the next post will be more positive.