The Way It Was:
What: Big meeting with investors is coming up. Could be a product launch, an Annual Meeting, or an Analyst Day.
Who: The Investor Relations Officer (IRO), the CFO, the CTO, the CMO, and a Division Head or two get into a huddle with the CEO to document and position the strategy. Slides get created and changed in a flurry of activity among this inner circle. Most of activity takes place in the days and hours prior to the Big Meeting.
Then What: The meeting was spectacular! The analysts asked intelligent questions and intelligent answers were given to those in the room.
Back on the Ranch: Employees of the company read the news release and the analyst notes and say, "What! I've never heard that before." Sales people use these notes as the basis for conversations to their customers. Marketing people growl the names of the people who crafted the story and work feverishly to update their PowerPoint decks and positioning statements to the field. Engineers re-examine products and road maps and see if they can make the CEO's promise materialize in reality. In a couple months, everything will have mostly settled down. The new strategy starts to resonate, product road maps are built and PowerPoint decks are in "message alignment." The fire drill is over ... until the next Big Meeting!
The Way It Is Now, in a 2.0 Company:
What: Thought leaders at every level of the company listen, think, engage, discuss, and blog on what could be in the future continually, inside and outside of the company's walls. Engineers, Marketing folks, Research folks, and Field folks are all part of the dialog. Ideas are battered around and made better. Seeds start to grow as potential new strategic opportunities resonate and become internalized. Product road maps start to be sketched. Decks start to be created. Executives examine strategic possibilities and make a call. More blogs and more discussions follow. People are on the same page.
Then What: Big Meeting with Investors.
Got that covered.
------------------------ Talk Back --------------------
Which camp is your company in?
This post was inspired by a blog I read today by an EMC engineer who is so far down the path of internalizing a new strategy he's started blogging about how everything will fit together from a product development perspective. His information and inspiration came from the dialogs taking place over the past weeks and months among his peers in the social context of web 2.0 tools.
And yet, our CEO has yet to host The Big Meeting.
Wow! I like this model. It is far different from when I was an IRO living in a 1.0 world, where information was not shared internally before The Big Meeting, great minds went under-leveraged, and the sound of the fire drill could be heard in every hallway of the company.