Pick Your Side, Not Your Battles

May 29, 2009Comments Off on Pick Your Side, Not Your Battles
Do you represent your community to your company? Or your company to your community?

If your community criticises your company, how do you react? 

Do you take your community's side? i.e. "I agree, we deserve to be treated better than this. I'm going to do my best to get an apology for you". 

Do your take your company's side? i.e. "We're sorry about that. You deserve to be treated better, we're going to try and make sure it never happens again."

The advantage of taking your community's side is popularity. You're their champion. You're the inside guy fighting to make the voice of the community heard. The advantage of taking your company's side is reliability. The community gets an honest answer rather than a passionate  fighter. This also makes you the 'corporate' punching bag.

Can you do both? No. 

You can still work co-operatively and positively, but you do need to pick a side. You can't represent your community when you think you will win and represent the company when you're sure you can't. It doesn't matter, entirely, which side you pick. It matters that you are consistently representing one side to the other – and both sides know it.
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