[Advice] The Impresario’s Dilemma

Quality and quantity.

These are two ideas that have long combated each other at scale in a variety of contexts and containers.

From mediation processes and practices to industrialized object making, quantity very often takes a back seat to quality in both the consideration of the creator and the consumer.

When there is so much ephemeral stuff (such as content, ideas, and art), considerations around quality become the watchword for monitoring and disengaging with ideas that we find to be reprehensible.

And, of course, quality is perceived as suffering by both the creator and the consumer, because the quantity of ephemeral stuff has increased; and, and because our brains can only absorb so many different ideas at once.

But keep in mind that, once you increase quantity, quality only suffers when caring about each outcome takes a second place to actually getting the outcome to happen.

Impresarios care about quality.

They also care about quantity, but realize that interactions around ephemeral content become a matter of time, rather than scale.

[Opinion] Trust + Accountability = Quality

There’s a lot of negative social proofing going on right now.

Some of it is transmitted through social media; some of it comes through more traditional means.

Personal branding as a marketing term has fallen out of popularity, now replaced by the equally amorphous term “thought leader” which will soon be replaced by influencer.

Microcelebrity via YouTube, Vine, Facebook videos, and other forms of entertainment are becoming more and more popular, as the inevitability of tools that enable marketers, brands and individuals to create audiences that show up just for them.

The thing is the courage to create and develop a positive, consistent presence in the face of a lack of positive social proofing has never been in shorter supply than it is right now. At the core of this lack are three crucial areas:

  • Trust: There is a trust shortage. People, personalities and companies that have shown up, day-in and day-out succeed, but will the current crop of YouTube celebrities make it ten more years? And when there’s no belief that the People Who Matter are even paying attention, then organizations and individuals trust themselves more than the community.
  • Accountability: When there is little trust—or even belief that anything (or anybody) worth trusting will show up in the first place—then there is little incentive for people and organizations to stand up and say “Yes, I made this decision.” Social shaming, a continuing erosion of public (and private) empathy, and the increasing visibility of public (and private) narcissism, are the ingredients that create a toxic stew where Bystander Behavior (or worse) is supported, condoned and given a pass.
  • Quality: The quality shortage is most loudly evident in the explosion of voices on social media. But it goes deeper than that. In the pursuit of thinner and thinner profit margins, and with high unemployment and social unrest, the search for quality—of work, of attitude, of standards, of values—becomes a quiet, desperate search, which very few organizational supervisors, human resource hiring managers, recently elected politicians or media talking heads, ever really address.

Trust + Accountability = Quality.

It used to be that circumstances, such as poverty, a lack of articulation, a social power structure, were barriers which could be overcome with a little grit, persistence, faith, trust and accountability.

But the belief that underlies those ideas is eroding because the disconnect between the story behind circumstances, and the reality of erosion in the above three areas, is becoming more and more pronounced.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

3 Ways to Work on Your “Infinite Game”

We here at Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT) love the old school E.F. Hutton commercials (link here http://youtu.be/sc2GpmLx82k).

The tagline, which our parents always used on us, of “when EF Hutton talks, people listen,” seems not to apply in the noisy media world in which we live.

But, when you’re developing a business with the anticipation of long-term equity, how do you cut through the noise so that at the key moment, as in the iconic commercials, people immediately stop—and listen.

Now there are three strategies that can help you work toward attaining your own voice:

  • Be consistent—even in a world of social media, the “Impermanent Web,” and Snapchat for business, nothing beats creating a voice by showing up, day after day, on a blog, on Twitter or on your website. Nothing.
  • Be bold—there are so many ways to spin a phrase that boldness in speaking, delivery and tone can be achieved through the use of a thesaurus, a dictionary and by molding an idea. And, really, if you’re controversial, what are “they” gonna do? Snoop on your emails?
  • Be quality—it’s hard to be a noun so often used as an adjective, but the fact is, quality counts. When developing a voice, quality is a hard target to hit, seeing as how people are often playing the “short game,” rarely ever playing the “long game” and almost never playing the “infinite game.”

In a world of impermanency, untrustworthiness and fly by night claims, implementing consistent, bold, quality strategies to develop your voice is the only pathway to success.

[Thanks to Seth Godin for bringing these distinctions to our attention.]

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/
HSCT’s website: http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com

Quality is Job One

Trust is evident when a company, organization, association or individual promotes themselves, their ideas, their products or their services online, either via social media or via search.

Trust works in a social sense (again, both on and off line) because without a relationship, even if it’s a tangential one, connection cannot happen and then referrals cannot happen and cash—revenue—cannot change hands.

Trust is the only thing that works to facilitate this transaction.

Trust works when something—a product, service or idea—is given generously, and nothing is expected in return. This is something new in our industrial based, “let’s all make a better widget the next time around,” process that has dominated the Western world for the last 80 years.

Trust worked then as well, but it worked more as trust in an industrial based, quality driven process, rather than people.

Trust got us more stuff, because the corollary to trusting in the industrial process, was trusting that the industrial employer would provide a safe job, for life, with safe working conditions: Same thing with government promises based on social programs, social safety and social/business regulation, both local and national.

Process, quality and precision came first, safety, security and high pay came second, people, relationships and “giving it away for free” came third—if they made the list at all.

Remember the old Ford ad tagline from the 90’s: “Quality is job ONE.”

Even the Bible, in Psalm 115, the exhortation to trust is evident in verse 11 which states that you who fear the Lord (where “fear “means to stand in awe, to be afraid or to have reverence for a superior being) trust in the Lord, for He is their help and their shield.

Why belabor this point?

Well, there are 20,000 volunteer mediators working in dispute resolution centers, court rooms and law offices around the country right now. And if you are a mediator or a conflict professional, trying to make a living—or make a little revenue—doing this work, then you are in a tough bind.

This is because so many folks who could be your target market for trust, connection, referral and revenue are already knee deep in trusting that a non-fee based relationship will endlessly provide for all of their needs.

Mediation is about connection and relationship. Mostly, it’s also about trust: Trusting the mediator to get out of the way; trusting the other party to deal fairly; trusting the process of mediation to produce whatever outcomes are desired by the two parties in conflict.

How does an enterprising professional then, transform freely given trust into paying revenue?

Well, that’s the real question for this week, isn’t it?

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA

Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/
HSCT’s website: http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com