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by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

Social media creates an amazing opportunity to reshape how we, our businesses and our whole industries operate. Social media creates a level playing field where our visibility is governed not by the depth of our pockets but by the depth of our knowledge. 

You don’t believe me consider this, I’m currently writing this in a coffee shop in London where I can just see a famous Management Consultancy, sorry guys, but it could have been anyone, as I’ll show later.

McKinsey (arguably the “top” consultancy practice in the world) employs 27,000 people globally and turns over in excess $10,000,000,000 per year and they have 311k twitter followers.

By contrast Digital Leadership Associates employs less than 10 people turns over significantly less than $10 billion per year yet, if you add together our staff, has a greater reach and more followers than McKinsey and gets similar levels of interaction.

As it happens, McKinsey actually have quite a good Twitter presence…but that isn’t the point, the point is that with a global respected brand that has been established for nearly 100 years and 27k brilliant staff they shouldn’t have a Twitter account which is as good as the handful of people from Digital Leadership Associates…they should have one which is immeasurably better.

But they haven’t.

Why should this be the case when they have so much more visibility, brand and financial muscle?

Well, McKinsey (who are actually friends of ours) like many organisations simply don’t understand the way that this brave new world works. Gary Vee does, McKinsey (and Accenture, PwC, Ey, BCG, Deloitte, etc etc etc) don’t. 

The reason is that all of these organisations have built their consulting and their advisory business on many years of experience (and success) in teaching organisations how to be better. But teaching people to be better based on what used to work is not the way things work any more – Kodak, Toys’R’Us, Blockbuster, MySpace, Nokia, Debenhams, and countless other high profile failures of the last decade all bought advice from the “top consulting firms” who were clearly unable to turn the tide. This is not to do with a lack of competence or ability as these firms routinely buy-up the smartest people in the world to go and work for them. It’s because what made organisations successful before 2010 will NOT make them successful after 2010. 

The new megabrands Google, Apple, Amazon, Snapchat, Instagram, AirBnB, Ebay, Paypal…all of these organisations have taken a course of action that would have been deemed “foolish, by those blue suited big brand experts.

So what lesson can we all take back to our business, from this inalienable truth? 

  1. We live in a knowledge economy
  2. The knowledge before 2010 will not drive us forward.
  3. But what is the answer?  OK, I’ll get there… 

We all need to break the behaviours that we have spent our whole careers developing because they simply don’t work any more. 

As the world of leadership and strategy (as well as sales and marketing) shifts more and more of this is going to take place on social media and you need to be on there as a person, as a business as a brand now. 

People who read this article also read these:

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