Right under our noses, I believe that a market has been growing and coming of age which may not yet have become aware of itself…
- Amazon: July 5, 1994 22 years
- eBay: September 3, 1995 21 years
- Google: September 4, 1998 18 years
- Paypal: December 1998 18 years
- Salesforce: February 1999 17 years
- LinkedIn: December 14, 2002 14 years
- Facebook: February 4, 2004 12 years
- Twitter: March 21, 2006 10 years
and the grandfathers:
- Microsoft: April 4, 1975 41 years
- Apple: April 1, 1976 40 years
- Oracle: June 16, 1977 39 years
For those of us who expend our talents in creating experiences that yield emotional connection to mission, product, institutions of legacy and the revivifying of corporate culture in the context of convention, meeting and corporate theatre; I see an opportunity herein to craft new approaches to finding or creating in-house emotional connection between the employee body and the company.
These are different companies than the DuPonts and the Pfizers, the General Mills, the Procter & Gambles, the Coca-Colas and the Fords… These companies burst from a new gate; immediately setting themselves apart from companies and corporations of the past not only with the iProducts and platforms they represent but with an ethos and ethic based on an inherent iconoclasm and a new business world.
The Pride in and connection with these companies shared by employees and builders was based in the newness of the business oeuvre, itself. Whereas, historically, employee bodies found exhilaration and pride in joining a Legacy; now it became the newness of the culture of these corporations – the breaking away from how it was, before – at the core of the connection. These teams could, should, did and do take great pride in doing and building something not seen before in ways not done before for markets being created, daily.
Heady times of the New Gold Rush.
Though, here’s the Thing. These companies that have been being perceived as “new” are now more than a decade old…some more than two decades. Viewed through the lens of Moore’s Law, these eCorporate Cultures are well into their Legacy Phase.
How to tell that story and keep the connection between employee teams and company vivid, compelling, inspirationally alive?
Compounded with that is the way millennials, millennial-adjacents and millennial-friendly’s (that’s we silver-foxes who have managed to remain in touch with our inner nerd and able to mix freely within this New Order…) consider and hold their connection to the companies that pay them.
I say, “companies that pay them” as this New Order doesn’t look at “working for” a company in the same way as people did, generations ago. There is an ethos of partnership, of independence and choice, of personal value and, frankly, an expected level of individual and even self-respect that is new in the workplace. Not only would today’s under-35 workforce not succeed and likely be miserable in the corporate environments of a few decades ago; they would not be interested in participating in those environments in any way, at all.
So, good on ‘em.
Now that these corporate cultures and environments are not new, anymore, and are rather a set of constants in a universe of constant change; these corporate cultures and the language and experiences used to communicate said cultures must evolve into new forms and messages in order to remain relevant and compelling to these New Minds. These philosophical, introspective, semi-cynical aspirants.
We all must evolve.
Business leaders must embrace the fact that irrespective of corporate philosophy and the current histories of “rah-rah” annual inspiration meetings and conferences aren’t resonating with their employees as they may have, decades ago. (To be fair, some do get this…Oracle comes to mind.)
New Era Business leaders have the opportunity to embrace a Moment of Evolution for their own approaches to employee inspiration. The entire paradigm (omg: did I just use that word?!), the entire approach to employee connection and commitment stands to be reexamined and retooled for a new world of business.
The new Legacies are of ongoing invention, successive innovation, successful evolution. There is no room for complacency or status quo; it’s all about forward movement.
What is the Opportunity?
I believe this is a Moment for the Business Leaders of today and tomorrow to partner with we Story and Experience Crafters from theatre, themed entertainment and gaming to collaborate on the form and format of the periodic, quarterly, annual meetings and completely deconstruct, examine, build and reinvigorate the formats to appeal to and inspire a new breed of thinkers and doers.
These two populations ought to reach out to one another to collaborate on revivifying the Sales Meeting, the Conference, the Annual Anything Your Company Does. Bring in the Creatives, the Writers, the Creators of Compelling Experience who can build you forums in formats that connect with your most valuable resource and increase their energy, inspiration and value.
Take it out of the executive suites and bring in the explorers. We can all kick some ass, together.
As luck would have it, “IMHO: Creating Compelling Experience” the eBook is still a free download from iTunes for Mac OS and iOS. So, some of the best things in life actually are free!
ABSOLUTELY! It is amazing the different branches of entertainment haven’t been working together more. With the crazy expanse of Virtual Worlds, this topic is even more important. I work in all these entertainment industries. The customer experience is converging and transcending. It is us story-experience-game-placemaker talents that will redefine the revolutions right around the corner. Its the creators that will define this brave new world, not necessarily the the Owners/Developers. The old models will become obsolete fast. How do we prepare?
I loved this article, Kile – thank you! And I loved being with you in Brussels this week. It was terrific to re-connect after, what, some 15, maybe 20 years? Wow. However, as a Millennial-friendly, very dirty-blond, quasi-silver fox alumnus of P&G, I must make one very, very important correction: It’s “Procter” with an “e.” We learned on our first day of “being paid by them” last century that if we had ever misspelled that word in correspondence during our application/interview process, we would have been rejected – period! Ahhhh, the memories of youth and the Patriarchal business culture of yester-year. Good riddance to all that. Bring on the New Order, indeed.
LOL: Correction made! Another example of the Power of Collaborative Proofreading! Merci, Grazie, Danke and Dank je wel!
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Thanks for this great article Kile and so well written! I belong to the silver fox group but I truly believe that we need more interaction between generations and also between the story tellers and the corporate world.
Thank YOU, Viviane – I’m thinking that this time is a great opportunity for retuning and retooling on myriad fronts; and partnerships between true story crafters and business / corporations could well prove a powerful keystone in a vibrant future… AND thanks for readin’!