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Have you learnt your personal energy? What about your weaknesses?
A idea of enterprise administration and management means that people and groups can be extra profitable by constructing on their strengths than by making an attempt to right their weaknesses.
Idea doesn’t suggest it’s best to ignore weaknesses. As an alternative, it means that it’s best to make investments deeply in your abilities and strengths and reduce the results of any weaknesses. (You may learn extra about this within the guide Strengths-Primarily based Management, based mostly on the Gallup group’s 30-year analysis venture.
I completely agree with this concept. I’ve seen this concept work for content material groups that obtain long-term success. However the selection will not be all the time clear.
Strengths vs weaknesses
A brand new content material advertising and marketing technique unites folks below new statutes, with new processes, tasks and applied sciences. Folks name this technique of getting ready everybody for the brand new scenario “change administration.”
However, if we’re trustworthy, it’s truly a “new administration”. None of this has been completed earlier than.
One of many first issues I like to recommend to shoppers on this scenario is to do a abilities audit. A abilities audit finds areas of energy in addition to gaps the place further coaching, outsourcing, or new hires could be wanted.
I’ve seen many corporations make the identical mistake after the abilities audit: they double down on reinforcing perceived (or actual) weaknesses.
However that method instantly builds a steep mountain to climb. Content material groups confronted with every thing “new” can really feel demoralized if they’ve to rent and prepare new inner or exterior employees on the identical time.
Nonetheless, many consultants argue that focusing solely on strengths has its drawbacks. A number of years in the past, a Harvard Enterprise Evaluate podcast steered that “many weaknesses are overdeveloped strengths.”
For instance, amplifying the strengths of a politically astute crew chief can create a manipulative boss. Specializing in the velocity or creativity of the interior design crew can result in a crew that’s overworked and thought of idiosyncratic in its method or out of contact with enterprise realities.
Deciding whether or not to concentrate on the strengths or weaknesses found in a abilities audit jogs my memory of the aphorism usually attributed to statistician George Field: “All fashions are improper, however some are helpful.”
There aren’t any simple solutions.
Which strengths and which weaknesses matter most
In a approach, it is a false selection. Understanding which strengths and weaknesses matter most tends to provide one of the best outcomes. You may’t assess which strengths or weaknesses to concentrate on till you perceive which strengths and weaknesses most have an effect on your commerce’s probabilities of success.
For instance, corporations constructing content material groups usually ask me, “Ought to we rent subject material consultants with deep data about our companies and the business or nice writers who can study our enterprise over time?”
The reply to that query is sure.
Each approaches are equally necessary, till you determine which one can have extra impression on the crew’s targets. When you resolve what’s most necessary, you may concentrate on enhancing the strengths of the method you could have chosen.
I’ve seen this primary hand in two conditions.
The primary concerned a brand new content material crew at a big Fortune 100 firm. After conducting a abilities audit, they recognized their strengths: creativity and journalistic storytelling. In addition they uncovered some perceived weaknesses: gross sales enablement content material and advertising and marketing measurement.
As a brand new crew, in addition they understood that the corporate positioned a excessive worth on the flexibility to ship nice content material to gross sales and supply analytics to point out the effectiveness of content material. A key piece of the crew’s enterprise case was to centralize content material and make it an inner fortress. So their impulse was to beef up their gross sales content material and analytics weaknesses.
To take action, the content material crew took over these areas from their outsourced company. They have been positive they might “work it out”.
However they did not. And the crew’s popularity as a robust editorial crew additionally took successful as they tried to stability their strengths with a scarcity of selling and analytics. When enterprise took a flip, they fired the editorial crew. They weren’t thought of able to endeavor the mandatory advertising and marketing analyses.
Would they’ve survived if they’d let the company deal with their weak areas and continued to excel in enhancing or if they’d created a phased partnership with the company to deal with the abilities wanted for gross sales enablement and measurement?
I believe so.
Within the second situation, a tech firm I work with had been rising and shaping its content material crew for just a few years. They keep a eager consciousness of their crew’s strengths and weaknesses. Extra importantly, the crew chief has created transparency and understanding of their ongoing stability all through the enterprise.
At first, they centered on highlighting their strengths as a content material advertising and marketing crew (creativity, thought management within the business, and structuring content material for translation and reuse). Initially they did not tackle the sales-oriented content material, they left it within the arms of the demand technology crew.
Ultimately, they partnered with the demand technology crew, which continued to create nice advertising and marketing content material. The content material crew helped them develop requirements and guides to facilitate translation and redesign for a number of channels.
Years later, this mannequin works very properly for them.
It is a refined however vital distinction. The primary crew thought their job was to excel at content material and centered on correcting the crew’s weaknesses to make it occur. The second crew realized that their job was to make the enterprise good at content material, and centered in your strengths to make it occur.
The usefulness of any content material abilities audit lies within the potential to align the core strengths of the crew with the priorities and abilities of the enterprise.
Over time, should you can keep this consciousness, your crew’s weaknesses can turn out to be their biggest energy.
It is your story. Inform it properly.
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Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising Institute
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Should Your Content Team Play to Its Strengths or Fix Its Weaknesses?