Today's the day!
It's ready for delivery in the UK today, and pre-order in other parts of the world. For those of you tweeting about availability in the US, currently listed as mid-June by some bookstores, Wiley tells me it should actually be with you mid-May. Thank you for your interest and patience.
What's it about?
The Business of Influence is a rethink.
It's about improving the capabilities of organisations to design and attend to the way in which all aspects of its operations influence stakeholders, about making sure stakeholders influence it, systematically, and about how well competitors are attempting the same. It focuses on influence as the common denominator of marketing and public relations and related activities such as customer service, sales, product development and HR, and therefore the basis for redesigning these and interconnecting them.
The book introduces the Influence Scorecard, named in homage to the dominant framework for business performance management, the Balanced Scorecard. The Influence Scorecard then is a subset or view of the Balanced Scorecard containing all the influence-related key performance indicators (KPIs) stripped of functional silo, and it may extend beyond the Balanced Scorecard should a greater operational granularity of metrics be demanded by the influence strategy.
The Influence Scorecard is a new framework for the 21st-century designed to help organisations focus on what matters rather than continue to carry the baggage and inefficiencies that come part and parcel of the typical 20th-century marketing and PR structure and approach. It's a reframing in the context of 21st-century media and disintermediation, 21st-century technology, and 21st-century articulation of and appreciation for business strategy.
I'd like to thank Robert Howie, MD and CMO of Palladium Group and Director of the Kaplan Norton Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame for Executing Strategy, for writing the foreword. Robert writes:
The author’s Influence Scorecard builds on the Kaplan Norton approach, in which success is based on universal management principles: aligning around the critical few things that matter, identifying cause-and-effect relationships that result in desired outcomes, setting measures and targets to drive behaviors, choosing initiatives that close performance gaps, and managing strategy as a process. The Influence Scorecard shares these principles with the Balanced Scorecard, and applies them to the emergent, cross-disciplinary domain of influence.
And this segues neatly into an endorsement for The Business of Influence by Robert Phillips, President and CEO, Edelman EMEA:
Philip Sheldrake shares an important vision of the new communications world order. PR and advertising professionals need to sit up and take note. Influence is the future watchword – and the smart companies are already exploring it and switching models.
Media and disintermediation
Social media has ascended so quickly that today only a minority media remain without a social component. This lends organisations the unprecedented opportunity to listen to and engage directly in many-to-many conversations. It also enables consumers and citizens to coalesce powerfully, eliminating previous geographical and time constraints and levelling the previous power imbalance between ‘them and us’.
Too often, leadership teams fail to appreciate that this change is more than cosmetic, is more than something that can be abdicated to a small team with new media glasses and the word ‘digital’ or ‘social’ in their job titles. This is a powerful change that demands organisation wide readjustment.
The marketing, PR and related professions remain relatively unscientific. They are almost the last business disciplines to be transformed by information and communication technologies, and are now going through the same technology-fuelled convulsions that accounting, manufacturing, logistics and retail, for example, underwent in previous decades. Therefore, I discuss the emergence of an influence professional ambidextrous of mind – equally happy working their right-brained creativity and empathic skills alongside their left-brained analysis and synthesis capabilities.
The book explores the continuing revolution in information and communications technologies, including new Web technologies such as the Semantic Web (so-called Web 3.0), the Internet of Things, the explosion in data, and the corresponding personal privacy ramifications.
Business strategy formulation and execution
Social media and new technologies demand strategic adaptation to capitalise on the opportunities and attenuate the risks. Moreover, ongoing empirical research into organisational effectiveness continues to throw new light on the facets of strategy formulation and execution that separate the great from the also-rans.
According to the Balanced Scorecard Institute, seven out of ten organisations simply fail to execute their strategies – that is, they fail to live up to their promise of creating value for shareholders. This will become increasingly unacceptable; indeed, unviable.
Michael Porter defines strategy as selecting the set of activities in which an organisation will excel to create a sustainable difference in the marketplace, and thereby creating sustained value for its shareholders. If your organisation’s assets and capabilities are unique, and your vision is unique, then you must by definition craft a unique strategy. As your organisation’s structure and culture are critical to strategic execution, these too should be honed to be fit for purpose.
And yet the majority of organisations adopt a template approach to media, advertising, marketing and communications. The structure, processes and too frequently blinkered specialism of its practitioners hold back most marketing and PR teams from recognizing that their objectives, activity and associated measurement and evaluation, must work in orchestrated harmony with other disciplines to deliver specific business outcomes.
Organisational structure, culture, vision and strategy must be adapted to this change if the organisation is to survive let alone thrive, and there has to be a process to drive and inform this adaptation.
I'd like to thank everyone who provided supportive endorsements for the book cover. These are listed on the accompanying website, but I will just add three more here for the sake of rounding out this post and, hopefully, influencing you to buy The Business of Influence...
The Business of Influence is a whack on the side of the head for traditional marketers. By focusing on influence, instead of traditional marketing think, it reframes and redefines everything that a modern marketer does. The Business of Influence should be found, dog-eared and jam-packed with marks in the margins on every successful CMO’s desk.
Katie Delahaye Paine, Founder and CEO, KD Paine & Partners, author Measure What Matters
Today, every organization is in the influence business. We influence customers to buy from us, employees to work for us, and the media to write about us. Gone are the days when you could be your own island. Now, to be successful, you need to live within the influence ecosystem and that requires a change of mindset. Fortunately, Philip Sheldrake will show you how.
David Meerman Scott, bestselling author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR and the new hit Real-Time Marketing & PR
The Business of Influence is an excellent guide to understanding how to develop and drive a management agenda through marketing and communications in the increasingly complex age of social media and digital technology. It is a handy and useful guidebook for every practitioner from the newly minted account leader in an agency to the seasoned professional or academic in this field.
David B. Rockland, PhD; Partner, Ketchum Communications; CEO, Ketchum Pleon Change and Ketchum Global Research; Chair, AMEC US Agency Research Leaders Group