At Vistage, we have four strategic imperatives, some or all of which may be imperatives for other companies as well.
Today, I’d like to talk about our fourth strategic imperative: leveraging technology. Now, it’s pretty obvious these days that you’ve got to be in the technology space no matter what your business. We all know that already. It’s not about whether we should leverage technology, but how we should do it best. At Vistage, we are leveraging technology in at least three different ways. And I think every company should consider the opportunities technology, particularly the internet, provides in these three realms.
The first one, which may be the most obvious one, is to use technology to promote, market, and increase access to your services and products. Whether it’s search-engine optimization, social media, blogging or e-commerce, using the web to make your brand better-known and more ubiquitously accessible is an absolute must today. Of course, we’re doing that here at Vistage.
Second, we’re using the web to deliver in new ways what we’ve been delivering for over 50 years before the technology revolution. For example, we used to have to deliver knowledge and bring people together almost exclusively in-person. While face-to-face interaction is still the core essential of what we do, we’re engaging and connecting our Vistage community through the web. We’re broadening our members’ access to other members and to content through our members-only website and webinars. Some of our meetings are now done through teleconferences; some of our one-to-one and member-Chair sessions are conducted using Skype. These resources, when properly used and combined with traditional features, are highly efficient ways to both communicate and broaden the knowledge within our community.
The third, and more ambitious, way to leverage technology is to use it to deliver new additional products and services, based on your core competencies, and thereby create new revenue streams. An example here at Vistage is that we’re exploring how we could help CEOs and business leaders engage with one another online in a way that’s consistent with the face-to-face, Chair-led Vistage group and one-to-one process that we’ve successfully been doing for more than 50 years. If we had both the in-person and the online versions available, our members in the future could have more choices.
Using technology in all three ways – - marketing, delivery, and augmentation – - is essential. Please feel free to share the different ways you’re using technology to advance your business.