Change Forward

In life and business sometimes bad stuff happens to good people. I like to think I'm currently in that group. If you read my last Fast Company Resource article, Shifting Gears at 105 without Falling Off the Cliff, you will be familiar with my recent land mine, a misstep in selecting an IT development firm and the result a product that the functionality sucks and the back end of the site needs to rebuilt. So during this time of forward change, what do we tell our community and new visitors? Especially since we can't stop the clock, we did screw up and we still need to drive traffic, grow our community and brand fans.

Honesty, humility and humor. That is the formula we have chosen. We want our loyal members and all the new folks to know that we know our community is not a perfect picture right now, but we are absolutely working on it. So we posted a big demolition coming soon sign with these words. The social network of our site is called the Muzeum.

Muzeum Demolition in the near future
The truth must known, we have found small amounts of asbestos in the Muzeum sheetrock, a few ounces of lead in the paint, a gas leak everywhere and foundation is unstable. Because we value our citizens and their work so much, we are temporally halting further construction on the Muzeum.

What does this mean for you?
It's going to get better soon. All rooms and spaces have been inspected and are completely safe and long as you don't take off your clothing or light up a pipe.

(To see the full note go to Oddpodz.com and register to be a citizen).
I believe a big part of managing change is about open, straightforward communication. Hopefully my community will enjoy the humor, appreciate our honesty and hang with our brand while we clean up the mess.

Are we nuts to take this approach?

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1 Comments

  • David Gillespie

    The play on words is very cute, how that is received will obviously depend on the temperment. Of your community.

    The only issue I can see is perhaps the audience not quite thinking you are serious enough about fixing the issues; I say that not having read your Oddpoddz post so perhaps that addresses it.

    Regardless, you're on the right track. Candour, not content, is king in this case.