What? I got this email from Slideshare today:
And naturally, I'm gonna look at it. But my ho-hum attitude towards Dell, and their big GOING PRIVATE hooha, had me imagining we were talking about Next Generation SERVER Management. Imagine my surprise when the deck starts out with something about Occupy Wall Street. WHAT?
Wow, bold move Dell. Not sure I'm with you 100%, but I'm listening.
Wait a second. "Manager's survival is not just a question of working with bottom-up innovation and change initiatives, but knowing how to turn them into strategic advantages.
THAT sounds like Dell. The phrase, MANAGERS' SURVIVAL, is pretty telling, coming in paragraph #2. That's what it is out there. It's not bottom-up innovation, it IS a lot of "initiatives" but the MANAGERS' primary goal is SURVIVAL. And can someone Google "managerial irrelevance?" SICK.
Okay, let's move on. So Dell, what's the VISION for your "Next Generation Management?"
OH, now I get it, this is a Dell is so innovative at using social media for MARKETING. That makes more sense. Dell doesn't want to challenge "managers' survival," they want to challenge their old-fogey perception in Marketing Strategy. (grin) Really? Is that what the marketplace is worrying about as your stock falls through the floor.
I was expecting something a bit more like this:
But corporate responsibility is very different from managerial new directions.
So the document goes on with some pretty good outlines of Dell's social media "listening and engagement" approach. They use the "Pioneer" metaphor to describe themselves as innovative and first-strike leaders. The next juicy tidbit comes 5 pages in (it's really a DOC on slideshare, not a PPT).
And what follows is a fancy approach to a typical Dell concept. If we could make the machine better the reliance on people would be less critical. Here's their Managers' innovative road map.
Sorry, from the mis-guided presentation format (screen captures rather than PPT slides) I cannot get this any bigger without losing resolution. It looks like the Role of the Manager is a range between "information tollgate" and "enabler." (Gonna have to Google information tollgate.) And then the information/relevance scale is from "local context" at the bottom to "cross-functional relevance" at the top. A very common quadrant model. Dell aspires to be in the ENABLER with CROSS-FUNCTIONAL RELEVANCE. Okay, but is that innovative? Is that next-gen management? Maybe at Dell it is.
Digging even deeper into the management and leadership thing, here's the well worn carrot and stick metaphor.
Well there you have Dell's take on innovative management and the evolution of social-driven relevancy. Does that make you feel confident it Dell's ability to correct it's current slide into technology irrelevance?
The most exciting thing I read about Dell in the last month came in today, Microsoft is entering the buy-out talks. That, of course, would be a match made in heaven. Sub-par OS and sub-par hardware combined for sub-par excellence.
Okay, that wasn't fair. Outside of Apple's current dominance in the laptop, tablet, and phone markets, DELL is probably doing the best at creating interesting new machines. I still have a hard time with all their BRANDS and what purpose they serve when the DELL brand is the one that needs help. But that's covered in a number of other places on uber.la.
Here's the powerful closing statement of the presentation. The summary. The take away.
"Social media can transform perceptions, work-styles and collaboration. How will you use it to do more?"
Indeed, how will we?
My summary: Somebody requested a study and press-releasable document telling about Dell's innovative approach to management. And social media is a hot topic, so let's add in some social media and how Dell innovates with it's social listening program. [This is Dell's corporate claim to fame now running on 5 years, it started a year before I left Dell. Or was laid off by some group of Managers with 2/3 of the Global Online Team.] Somewhere along the way, the authors were asked to make it "innovative."
Here's a very telling sentence from a bit earlier in the document.
"Hardware has been what the market historically perceives as Dell's core business, but our updated strategy has changed to position ourselves as a global end-to-end solutions provider." [Yada yada, the market is not buying your redo.]
My question to my "still at Dell" friends, is this: "If you hang or torture all of your innovators, how are the pioneers going to survive on status-quo?"
This document started out as something visionary and ended as something hopeful. HOPEFULLY, you the people, will see that Dell is NEW and DIFFERENT and we're moving from BOXES to BOXES and PEOPLE. Hint: Because the BOXES business is killing us.
Last little Dell analogy of my own. I worked on the launch of Dell's Small Business brand, VOSTRO. I was proud of the campaign, "We Believe In Small Business." But about a year into the VOSTRO experiment I was amazed to hear that there were VOSTRO laptops that Dell was actually losing $15 on, each time they sold one. SRSLY? Like something out of Monte Python. Just sell a whole shit load of them and we'll make up for it in volume.
A friend asked me, "Do you think Dell is going to go away? It would really suck for Austin."
"They are not going away. And perhaps their transformation will come in the form of a buyout and privatization of their business. But the real innovation will only happen when the LEADERSHIP AT THE TOP of the TOP believes in PEOPLE over MARGINS and HUMANS over PROCESS. They've got a long way to go, from the looks of this document. But the title was nice. Might have been more truthful as a Next Generation SERVER Management Document.
Slideshare Link: Dell's Next Generation Management – January 2013
From the Social Media Strategist's Notebook
- Dreaming Won't Cut It – What's Your Plan, Where's Your Map?
- How Social Media Can Change Your Business
More for your LEARN box of social media:
- Google AdSense REDUX: IN Through the OUT Door, A YES from a NO
- Apple Gets It and You Don't! (MSFT, Google, Dell, HP)
- Twitter Huh? So You Just Don't Get Twitter? Let Me Explain…
- Um, Your LinkedIN Profile Is Kinda Important. You Might Want To Pay Attention!
- Is Blurring the Lines Between Business and Creativity Acceptable? re: writer, musician, marketer
- Google's AdSense: King Google Does Not Want to Be Bothered
- The Social Media Marketing Secret in Two Words: LinkedIn Groups (best practices)
- Twitter's Evil Empire and Striking Back for the Rebel Alliance
- All Top 2012 Lists I Can Stand
- King Google Kills My AdSense Account & My Dreams
- Real-world Blogging Stats 2012: When Things Go Dark, SEO-rich Content Rules
- MSFT: Retail Store Redux, How About That Microsoft SURFACE? WOOT!