Ford Motor Company launched a marketing campaign in 1981 that shook up an entire industry. The campaign – Quality is Job One – had dual meaning. The public-facing message was a brand promise focused on quality. Ford and other American automakers had been falling behind foreign counterparts in the quality department throughout the 70s and change was needed. (Remember the Pinto? My folks had a super sweet lime green Pinto hatchback sans the exploding gas tank feature.)
However, it was the internal focus of the campaign for Ford that became the real game-changer. Job One previously had a different meaning within the auto industry. Job One was a decades-old mantra that meant delivery of the first new or redesigned model off the assembly line; get new cars out no matter what. Car makers believed new and different models were their key business differentiator.
The seismic shift of this simple campaign – Quality is Job One – refocused Ford and recalibrated an entire industry and its customers to rise to the challenge of delivering and desiring a new standard of quality.
Engagement is the game-changer for the telecom, mobility, and IT management industry. Digital transformation, technology innovation, and user enablement are good concepts, but they often target technology-first thinking. Engagement, however, targets collaboration first.
Consider these stakeholder groups and their interests:
- Technical leaders embrace technology
- Financial leaders embrace cost-to-benefit ratios
- Operational leaders embrace zero-defect workstreams
- Business leaders embrace competitive differentiation
- External customers seek benefit from the business relationship
Separately, stakeholder interests are in conflict. When stakeholders are engaged with each other, though, the cause-and-effect relationship between their interests can be discussed, understood, and aligned. Engagement also prioritizes opportunity identification ahead of solution design.
Let’s shake up the telecom, mobility, and IT management industry – Engagement is Job One.