In case you missed it, local consumer electronics giant Best Buy yesterday unveiled a very interesting strategy to the online world: They want our help in writing a job description. Well, not any job description. A job description for, essentially, their social, digital and mobile marketing leader.
The strategy is an interesting, and in my opinion, an effective one for a number of reasons:
* It proves Best Buy is willing to admit they were wrong. OK, maybe they’re not really admitting they were wrong here, but they’re certainly saying they want or need help. In any case, Best Buy is showing it’s vulnerable side. It’s human side. While many Fortune 500 companies continue to communicate with customers, job seekers and investors via scripted corporate statements, it’s refreshing to see a company that actually acknowledges its faults and potential shortcomings and asks for help.
* It proves Best Buy understands the “power of us.” That’s a favorite phrase of mine I’ve stolen from an executive I work with in my day job (in case you’re interested, Terry Carroll, senior vice president of transformation at Fairview). Most organizations are so hell-bent on being right and controlling the message, they fail to see the bigger picture. That, by leveraging the thoughts an ideas of hundreds of thousands of uber-engaged social media geeks, PR people and marketers, Best Buy can create the best possible job description for this important role. That, my friends, is the “power of us.”
* It proves Best Buy understands the importance of goodwill. I’ll admit it: I’m a big Best Buy fan. But, I’m not niave enough to think that others haven’t had problems or issues with an organization this size. It’s inevitable. All the more reason you need a reservoir of goodwill built up. Best Buy clearly understand that–I’m sure that played into this decision. By engaging the community in this process, they’re building trust and goodwill with some of their most active advocates: the digital natives. And they know eventually, that will lead to business. Smart move.
* It proves Best Buy isn’t afraid to take risks. Let’s be honest, how many companies Best Buy’s size would make a move like this? Especially in the hyper-controlled and risk-averse world of HR. You gotta hand it to Blue Shirt Nation. First, they took a calcuated risk last week when they rolled out the initial job description with the now famous “250 followers on Twitter” qualification. Was that a strategic move to drum up attention for the job? Maybe. Did they have any idea how that would play online? Probably not. It was a pretty big risk. And so is this move in asking the community to help write the job description. But, aren’t those the kind of companies we want to work for? Aren’t those the kinds of companies that lead instead of follow? Aren’t those the kinds of companies that play to win–not to fail? Risk does not come without the occasional failure. But, Best Buy has proven to me lately that they’re definitely not afraid to fail. And in corporate America, that’s something you just don’t see everyday.
Enough raving by me. What do you think?