If you’re reading this, chances are you don’t remember a time that a worker picked a profession, joined a company and stayed there a few decades, collected a retirement gift, and vacationed or lived a quieter life outside of the business until death.
This cliché is long gone, but others of more recent vintage are good for you to watch out for in your company, because some of the practices that have become obsolete, all of a sudden, are good to keep in your awareness - as well as how technology can help you in these areas. Drew Hendricks has pointed out 5 “obsolete overnight” business practices in the Lean Content Marketing Blog:
Obsolete Practice Number One: 8 to 5
People work different hours, or they come and go from the office as they please, or, increasingly, many hardly go into an office at all. Some companies realize that happy employees are more productive than controlled ones, and more likely to focus on helping a business succeed. The thing to be aware of that will never become obsolete is the necessity for a work-life balance – taking time off or changing locations occasionally to keep perspective, taking breaks to stay rested and relaxed so the brain is fresh. Remote communications and working in flexible locations are easy with Skype, email, document sharing and project-management software.
Obsolete Practice Number Two:
The “rank and file” of a corporation
Job titles used to define people, their tasks, their room or cubicle, and the number on their paycheck. But many jobs no longer have such clear boundaries. Hendricks cites real jobs like In-House Philosopher, Chief Happiness Officer, and Entrepreneur-In-Residence. Especially in the tech field, companies can be lax with titles, and businesses in general put less stock these days into chain of command and more into getting work done. New hires can propose game-changing ideas and employees of any experience level can move laterally.
Obsolete Practice Number Three:
In the traditional past, celebrity endorsements were seen as a reliable path to money. (Movie studios made millions in the ‘30s and ‘40s in payoffs from tobacco companies who had their cigarettes promoted by stars including Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, John Wayne and Tom Selleck.) For some Michael Jordan and Nike will always be connected. But celebrity endorsements are no longer considered a highly effective marketing strategy. An ad-share survey by Unruly Media of Super Bowl 2014 found that commercials starring Ellen Degeneres, U2, the Muppets and Stephen Colbert did not come close to the lost puppy in Budweiser’s commercial in terms of social shares. In addition, industry people who are trusted are becoming “influencers,” reflecting the trend toward content and substance as ways to create Inbound Marketing success.
Obsolete Practice Number Four: Sell sturdiness
Products used to be sold with lifetime warranties, and some were believed suitable to save for the next generation. Instead of reliability, items now are part of what Hendricks calls a culture of curiosity. Things are built to become obsolete, or at least out of style. Immediate gratification is the name of the game, with people seeking the newest or the most unique.
This creates an opportunity to create technology and related services that will really work and make a name for themselves.
Obsolete Practice Number Five: Sell luxury
Some of the most successful companies are now selling a communal experience instead of a rarefied lifestyle. Apple made its name selling personal computers for home use. Facebook capitalized on user-generated openness. Two-thirds of Americans have smartphones, and that created an app for almost anything you can think up. The recession and the Occupy movement have made luxurious lifestyles not so hip to flaunt anymore. Smart buying decisions have followed, again creating an open door for tech companies with something of value to go through.
To read Hendricks’ original article, go here.
Additional Resources & Further Reading: