File under: slightly off topic but personally meaningful.
Disclosure: I’m not a massive U2 fan. With that said, Achtung Baby is one of my all time favorite albums. It is a transformative recording from a band that had, to date, been cast as a folksy and righteous rock and roll band from Ireland. Achtung Baby is a product of the band intentionally losing its established identity, giving themselves time and room to explore (albeit contentiously), and birthing an almost unclassifiable masterpiece and subsequent co-opting of mass, and particularly, electronic media as part of the album experience.
In 2011, From the Sky Down was released to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the album. The film takes the band members back to Berlin to talk about the creative process of recording Achtung Baby, and in the act of creation, remaking the band.
One of the most insightful moments in the film is at the end, when Bono sums up the intention behind the Berlin sessions and the album. It is at once terrifying and inspirational:
“You have to reject one expression of the band, first, before you get to the next expression,” says Bono, “and in between you have nothing, you have to risk it all“
I LOVE this. Applied personally, it is a call to action to grow, explore and transform. Faith in your instincts, talents and abilities bridge the gap between what you are and what you can become, and help hedge the risk.
It occurs to me that most organizations are in a similar state today – business models, culture, internal structure – basically most everything needs some level of transformation to thrive in the new increasingly connected and empowered market that is emerging globally.
How many will have the will to reject the “current expression” of the org?
How many will invest in the work needed for exploration and transformation?
Most importantly – how many will find the will and purpose to risk it all?
We will find out in the very near future.
ps: I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Berlin in 2011. I have to admit that I was not looking forward to the trip, but I wound up falling in love with the city and its energy- including the vibrant startup scene. I posted some of my pics from the trip here:
The archive for Online Communities: Thriving in the Economic Downturn Webinar”>Online Communities: Thriving in the Economic Downturn Webinar is now available.
You can view an archive of the video / audio from the webcast here:
On the webcast today, I was joined by Thor Muller of Satisfaction, Chris Kenton of SocialRep and Scott Wilder of Intuit. Topics discussed in the webcast include:
– Buffalo culture as a new metaphor for your online business
– The customer relationship as a currently squandered opportunity
– Rethinking “ROI”
– The social history of marketing and media
– Setting social media policy and training staff – “Guidelines and guardrails”
– and much more.
Thor Muller – CEO & Co-founder, Satisfaction
Thor Muller is CEO & Co-founder of Satisfaction, a startup delivering “people-powered customer service for absolutely everything.”
He is also the co-founder and former Managing Director of Rubyred Labs, a San Francisco-based web apps firm. Since its founding in 2005, Rubyred has developed social software for a range of startups and leading portals.
Prior to Rubyred, Thor was a first generation Web entrepreneur, creating Web success stories for companies such as Yahoo, Dell, Bank of America, Intel, Virgin Records, Fujitsu, Discovery Channel, and Sony. In 1995, he started and ran one of the early Web development boutiques, Prophet Communications, later acquired by Frog Design where he served as VP Digital Media. He subsequently founded Trapezo, a venture-funded company that made Web software for syndicating content, acquired by Perfect Commerce in 2002.
Christopher Kenton – CEO & Founder, SocialRep
Christopher Kenton is founder and CEO of the enterprise social media SaaS startup SocialRep, and cofounder and consulting partner at MotiveLab a social media marketing agency. Chris was formerly Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy at the Chief Marketing Officer’s (CMO) Council, and its corporate parent, the international PR firm GlobalFluency, where he managed global business development, client consulting services and program development for business communities including the CMO Council, the Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum and the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME).
With an extensive background in strategic marketing and software development, Chris specializes in market development, competitive positioning, marketing effectiveness and measurement, with a special emphasis on marketing technology and social media.
Scott K. Wilder, Group Manager, Intuit
Scott K. Wilder is currently the Group Manager of Intuit’s QuickBooks Online Community and User-Collaboration Web site. Previously, he served as Vice President of Marketing and Product Development at KBtoys.com and eToys. He also has held numerous senior management positions at America Online, Apple Computer, Borders.com, and American Express. While working at America Online, Scott helped create the first Web-based online advertisement and commercial Web site. Wilder has a Master degrees from The Johns Hopkins University, The New York University Leonard Stern School of Business and Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching Program.
Bill Johnston, Chief Community Officer, Forum One Networks
Bill Johnston works as Forum One Network’s Chief Community Officer. In this role, Bill drives the editorial vision for Forum One’s series of conferences related to online community, leads the Online Community Research Network, and leads the commercial community consulting practice.
Johnston has been building large-scale online communities since 1999. He came to Forum One from Autodesk, where he served as the Online Strategy Manager, with responsibilities including a portfolio of online communities and blogs. Previously he oversaw user experience tasks at TechRepublic, an IT professionals community (now part of Cnet). He also directs the Online Community Roundtable, an invitation-based professional networking series for online community professionals to share best practices and experiences.