MAMA Meets DADDY For Rhythm With Social Media

Social media brand management of all the working parts can be related to putting on an event at a stadium or arena. Event (Brand) Management requires lots of MAMAMarshaling, Allocating, Monitoring, and Adjusting resources.

When an event manager oversees new venue construction, manages some high-profile Super Bowl-scale event, or sponsors an unfamiliar technology project, MAMA isn’t enough. Every event manager learns that her job demands some DADDYDetermined Appraiser Designated to Disappoint You, (aka, Project Management), too.

The marriage of MAMA event managers with DADDY project managers is not always easy. Whether the union becomes harmonious depends upon both partners understanding some basic facts of life. With social media we are seeing the need to align business strategy with social media platforms to integrate extreme SEO and eCommerce.

Fact of Life One: You’re Going to Do Some Things Only Once

Newly-wedded event and project managers see different horizons. Much of an event manager’s world must be managed as an endless-evolving series of similar experiences. Over time, as each repetition informs future iterations, the whole operation should mature. So, while the event manager focuses her energy on creating satisfying individual events, she keeps one eye on the far distant future: repeating, defining, managing, and optimizing for the longer-term.

How many new venue constructions will an event manager oversee in her career? MAYBE one? These blue-moon events cannot be managed with the same evolutionary eye that guides normal operations.

The project manager brings a narrower view—a sharp focus upon maintaining a sharp focus—interested in defining and then hitting a much more distinct target.

You will find your DADDY disinterested in optimizing. He might find your eternal focus upon domestication equally distracting. Get over it!

Fact of Life Two: You’re Going to Experience Your World Differently

eskimo_indianWhat do you see in this picture? Some see an Eskimo peering into a dark cavern while others see the profile of an Indian Chief’s head. Seeing the Eskimo might prevent you from shifting your vision to see anything but an Eskimo. Others see only the Chief.

The project manager understands that every project starts off as a Bright Idea: peering into a dark cavern, more cloudy aspiration than guiding light. He shifts everyone’s focus Eskimo-to-Chief away from whatever each might have innocently mistaken their effort to be, redirecting attention toward what every-one must see together to succeed.

DADDY says: “If I can’t disappoint you today, I won’t be able to delight you tomorrow.” This is the most caring and difficult sort of relationship to create. It’s hard on you both. He understands that merely satisfying you every step of the way won’t make anyone successful, so he judiciously injects the necessary spoonfuls of disappointment that curiously comprise a delightful meal.

He’ll re-open the one can of worms you thought you’d firmly sealed, then challenge and re-challenge your purpose for initiating the effort until what you were certain you understood reconfigures itself. He trades in the control of uncertainty, where your certainty—along with his—is the most insidious barriers to achieving results. So, while your instincts expect a certain Marshalling,Allocating, Monitoring, and Adjusting, he will be poking at that deeper purpose and helping you discover the real project lurking behind your Bright Idea.

Any event or social media manager might think their DADDY crazy, but there’s true wisdom in his madness. Like a rocket scientist, he understands that the rocket must be on course only that last inch of its flight, and that it can be trending toward proper trajectory—”off course”—the rest of the way.

If you expect MAMA’s clockwork precision in DADDY’s methods, you’ll never discover delight together.

Fact of Life Three: The Rhythm Method Works

MAMA social media managers’ and DADDY project managers’ unique perspectives can bring real strength to any social media initiative, but can also encourage divisions. Each move to a different natural rhythm: MAMA’s more cyclical. DADDY’s more episodic.

In The Blind Men and the Elephant, Mastering Project Work David Schmaltz retells the fable of six blind men who decide to “see” an elephant. Their attempt to see together rapidly degrades into a battle, as the one who encounters the tusk experiences the elephant as being “rather like a spear,” then argues with the one who, finding the trunk, concludes it’s really more like a snake.

These theological wars can only be won by choosing not to engage in them. Each of the blind men are right, while all of them are wrong. And each special event—each once-in-a-lifetime initiative— will challenge MAMA’s sense of propriety with DADDY’s sense of mission. Well- coordinated, the elephant can reliably appear. Failing to understand that blue- moon events disrupt normal rhythm can create the very mother of all unmanageable dilemmas: organizational arrhythmia.

Find the natural rhythm and match your actions to it. If you can’t find that rhythm, it won’t much matter how you try to control the social media or any other initiative. If you can find it, it also won’t matter what you do to try to control it, but it’ll work. Find that rhythm, match it, and DADDY it just works!

Happily Ever After?

It is time for social media initiatives to be aligned with business strategy theme of “silos of collaboration” with the CEO, CFO, CMO offices and project management to get hitched! This is no shotgun ceremony, but the result of a natural horse-and-carriage courtship. Whether our differences work together like right and left hand or right brain and left foot depends on both MAMA and DADDYappreciating that our differences ARE our strengths. We couldn’t have either without each other!

One Response to “MAMA Meets DADDY For Rhythm With Social Media”

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