How’s Those 2016 Resolutions Coming Along?
2016 trends that will rock your business world: Grab attention, generate interest, stay relevant, and provide informative, useful, and interesting content. Be a content marketer, go get brand advocates, be sticky, and get your social on.
New Year’s resolutions are more than just personal improvements and commitments. They belong in the workplace to better the business and its bottom line. Before we talk about new trends, let’s talk about implementation.
Why It Won’t Happen
“It’s Too Hard.”
I can almost hear those words whine off the page! And not courtesy of a 10-year-old, but the groupthink of some companies. Too often, important trends go by the wayside. Not necessarily for the lack of vision or initiative, but for the lack of realism. It’s hard for businesses to change, let alone innovate. Systems, processes, policies, culture, and attitudes are in place. A lot of investment goes into making a company tick. Adopting new trends and initiatives are not seamless or overnight.
Killjoys Ruin It for Everyone
Monetary impact is just one obstacle that prevents change. In other cases, money isn’t relevant at all. Many times, it’s people who get in the way of adopting new trends and innovation.
When it comes to change, innovation, or adopting new things, some people listen with indifference while others enthusiastically jump on board. Then there's those hard-edged, stick-in-the-mud curmudgeons. Some of these killjoys might have been around the block a time or two and witnessed new opportunities and trends introduced, discussed, game-planned, and then forgotten within the month (a classic New Year’s resolution failure cycle).
It’s Not Too Late – Turn That Frown Upside Down
Strategy #1 – Fix the Failure Cycle: Apply the Genre of “Fresh-Start” Research
Fresh-start research identifies natural times of renewal when people are more committed to pursuing goals. These include the start of a new week, month, semester, fiscal year, birthday, holiday, and the biggie: New Year’s. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania call them “salient temporal landmarks.” (See “The Fresh Start Effect: Temporal Landmarks Motivate Aspirational Behavior.”) According to the study, these fresh-start landmarks “create new mental accounting periods, which relegate past imperfections to a previous period, induce people to take a big-picture view, and thus motivate aspirational behaviors.”
So here’s Strategy #1 to overcome the New Year’s failure cycle: make this next month your salient temporal landmark! If your resolutions have dwindled since New Year or you didn’t define any business resolutions, not to worry. February 1st is your fresh start.
Strategy #2 – Spawn Incremental Behavior
Everyone needs to jump on board to implement new ideas and make a company more awesome. That includes those curmudgeons with their pessimism and resistance to change. If you want to adopt new ideas, you must plan to change the attitudes and behaviors of people. And that does not happen overnight. Here’s a great aid to help guide the change process from MindTools called “The Change Curve: Your 10-Minute Guide to Understanding and Managing the Four States of Change.”
6-Step Change Plan
Work backward – from the implementation date with a well-thought-out change plan identifying baby steps and milestone events.
Total buy-in – inform people of the benefit to the company and why it helps them personally.
Motivate – incentivize and reward people for their efforts to move the process forward.
Educate – define and provide necessary training with no added inconvenience.
Project-manage it – define a clear map on how to implement and assign team leaders to manage the process, and keep activities and people on track.
Owners on board – change will only happen when the top dogs are fully on board.
Strategy #3 – Pick the Best 2016 Trends for You
Top B2B Marketing Trends
Disrupt the disruptor
Motivate to opt-in or sit still for messages
Employees as content marketers on their own social media networks
Top Communications Tactics
Visual communication & infographics
In the end, these aren’t crazy, over-the-top concepts. But for the reasons we’ve discussed, they might be more difficult to implement than they should. Think big and bold, and stay ahead of the next evolution.