going from innovator to controller

I was chatting with someone today and we hit upon something I think I’ll be pondering for a little while. I thought I’d put it out there so hopefully some of you can join me!

We were chatting about the phenomenon where a particular digital tactic becomes something everyone thinks they should do without question, yet it’s previously been something no-one outside the digital team gave the time of day to.

The example we talked about was twitter in advocacy calls to action. But we started to see a potential pattern…

  1. Early adopters take a chance on a tactic after some risk and value analysis, and/or small scale pilotting. The digital team assumes the role of ‘drum banger’ and innovators.
  2. Assuming it works, and / or other charities have made it work, the tactic ‘drum banging’ is at its noisiest.
  3. Everyone then wants to do it but doesn’t (always) consider the value and risk appropriately. The digital team find themselves having to switch to more of an overseeing role, typically perceived as controlling rather than empowering.
  4. Moving from perceived innovator to controlling in a short period of time causes challenges, both in team and across teams.

So is there a way around this? Can you avoid the challenges?
When a tactic becomes mainstream should it move out of digital?

… the pondering continues.

One thought on “going from innovator to controller

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