I recently read the Harvard Business Review article, “Why Marketing Needs More Introverts.” The takeaway: With all the customer feedback, information and tools available today, the marketing organization of the future will be filled with those that can think and act at scale. That is, the ability to make meaning from data and use it to influence products, solutions and services versus simply being the “voice” of a company to the marketplace.
The idea of an “introverted marketing organization” (or any “introverted” organization for that matter) initially seemed odd to me – like a spokesperson who isn’t good at public speaking. But the more I reflect on it, the more I realize that what this really means is that being an “introvert” means being centered in the art of deep listening, data-based decision-making, and quality conversations.
All too often in companies, and among teams and leaders, there is pressure to be in “extrovert mode” all the time. Saying, broadcasting, convincing, reporting, and responding versus making meaning from information and inputs, building quality relationships, and understanding the real core of customer needs and what’s driving their business’ value.
At Blue Beyond, we emphasize two different types of “communication” inside organizations – “Big ‘C’ Communication” and “little ‘c’ communication.” The first is the ‘extrovert’ – the organizational announcement, the official report, the branding campaign. The second, or ‘little ‘c’”, is about those more “introverted” moments where the change, initiative, or result you are trying to drive really comes to life. In my experience, it’s these moments in between – the very thoughtful ones, the places where deep reflections exist, where big change can occur.
The bottom line: Organizations and teams need the big moments – the big splashes, highly collaborative off sites, launch events, clearly articulated value propositions, etc. But equally important are the quiet moments in between – for analyzing, reflecting, researching, and listening – that can (and do) move the whole forward.
Caitlin is an Account Lead at Blue Beyond. For more than a decade she’s partnered closely with clients to develop and lead initiatives related to employee engagement, organizational communications, culture building, and strategic leadership alignment.