Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Open Principles and Insignia update

So, I have been incredibly lame over the last couple months not having posted anything to my blog. It has been a long time recovering from the workforce reduction here at Best Buy, but I feel like today is a new beginning. We’ve finally turned the corner and are moving forward again. And no, it has nothing to do with the fact that I finally filed my taxes last night.

Today, I want to focus on the Insignia Open Principles experiment. We are getting close to usability testing and plan a soft launch of the new site by the end of April. For those of you who I have engaged on usability testing, I promise that it will be coming soon. I appreciate your patience.

I think the best thing about this experiment is that the community of passionate and engaged supporters is growing with each day. And, each new member brings with them a unique and valued perspective that will make our web experience even better. The list of iterations I have in mind for this site is growing faster than we can get our current site up and running. I cannot wait for launch day!

I am also starting to get a lot of questions within the four walls of Best Buy on “how we did it”. That is, how did we break the mold and deliver a web experience that is materially different from what preceded it. How did we incorporate social media in a meaningful and sustainable way? Here are some of the lessons I learned along the way:

  • Successful adoption of social media is about how you approach your business rather than how you apply the tools. If you believe in openness and transparency, and model the behavior, then all else will follow.
  • This is about leading. Have a clear vision for the future and rally others around it.
  • Don’t get caught up in the hype. That’s about following.
  • Don’t let the media part fool you. This is not about advertising.
  • Let go. We spend a lot of time as successful business people learning how to manage outcomes and take control of situations. Unlearn this quickly. Learn how to facilitate outcomes and focus resources.
  • Focus outward rather than inward. Find your “brand champions”, engage them and reward them. They will reward you over time.
  • Just do it.