Ought to Your Content material Workforce Play to Its Strengths or Repair Its Weaknesses?


Have you learnt your individual power? What about your weaknesses?

One enterprise administration and management concept suggests that individuals and groups will obtain extra success by constructing on their strengths than by attempting to repair their weaknesses.

The speculation doesn’t imply you must ignore weaknesses. As a substitute, it suggests you must make investments deeply in abilities and strengths and decrease the results of any weaknesses. (You possibly can learn extra about it within the ebook Strengths Based mostly Management, primarily based on the Gallup group’s 30-year analysis venture.

I’m all in on this concept. I’ve seen this concept work for content material groups that obtain success over the long run. However the selection isn’t all the time clear.

Ought to #ContentMarketing groups double down on their strengths? Or attempt to repair their weaknesses? It’s not a simple selection, says @Robert_Rose by way of @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

Strengths vs. weaknesses

A brand new content material advertising technique brings individuals collectively beneath new charters, with new processes, obligations, and applied sciences. Individuals name this means of getting everybody prepared for the brand new state of affairs “change administration.”

However, if we’re trustworthy, it’s actually “new administration.” None of these items has been executed earlier than.

One of many first issues I like to recommend to purchasers on this state of affairs is to do a abilities audit. A abilities audit finds areas of power in addition to gaps the place extra coaching, outsourcing, or new hires is likely to be wanted.

I’ve seen many corporations make the identical mistake after the talents audit: They double down on shoring up perceived (or precise) weaknesses.

However that method instantly builds a steep mountain to climb. Content material groups grappling with all of the “new” might really feel demoralized in the event that they should rent and practice new in-house or outsourced workers on the similar time.

But many consultants argue that focusing solely on strengths has its pitfalls. A number of years in the past, a Harvard Enterprise Evaluate podcast urged that “so many weaknesses are overdeveloped strengths.”

For instance, amplifying a politically astute workforce chief’s strengths can create a manipulative boss. Specializing in the pace or creativity of the in-house design workforce can result in a workforce that’s overworked and regarded idiosyncratic of their method or out of contact with enterprise realities.

Deciding whether or not to give attention to the strengths or weaknesses uncovered in a abilities audit jogs my memory of the aphorism normally attributed to statistician George Field: “All fashions are incorrect, however some are helpful.”

There aren’t any straightforward solutions.

Which strengths and which weaknesses matter extra

In a manner, it’s a false selection. Understanding which strengths and weaknesses matter probably the most tends to supply the most effective outcomes. You possibly can’t assess which strengths or weaknesses to give attention to till you perceive which strengths and weaknesses have an effect on your operation’s likelihood of success probably the most.

For instance, corporations constructing content material groups usually ask me, “Ought to we rent material consultants with deep data about our providers and trade or nice writers who can be taught our enterprise over time?”

The reply to that query is sure.

Ought to #Content material groups rent SMEs who know the trade or nice writers who can be taught? Sure, says @Robert Rose by way of @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

Each approaches are equally necessary – till you determine which is able to impression the workforce’s goals extra. When you determine which is extra necessary, you possibly can give attention to enhancing the strengths of the method you’ve chosen.

I’ve seen this first-hand in two conditions.

The primary concerned a brand new content material workforce at a big Fortune 100 firm. After conducting a abilities audit, they recognized their strengths: creativity and journalistic storytelling. Additionally they uncovered some perceived weaknesses: sales-enablement content material and advertising measurement.

As a brand new workforce, additionally they understood that the enterprise positioned a excessive worth on the power to feed nice content material to gross sales and supply analytics to point out the content material’s effectiveness. A key piece of the workforce’s enterprise case was centralizing content material and making it an inner power. So, their impulse was to shore up their gross sales content material and analytics weaknesses.

To take action, the content material workforce took over these areas from their outsourced company. They had been positive they might “determine it out.”

However they didn’t. And the workforce’s popularity as a powerful editorial workforce additionally took successful as they tried to steadiness their strengths with the dearth of selling and analytical capacity. When the enterprise pivoted, they let the editorial workforce go. They weren’t thought-about able to taking over the mandatory advertising analytics.

Would they’ve survived in the event that they’d let the company deal with their weak areas and continued to excel at editorial or constructed a phased partnership with the company to deal with the talents wanted for gross sales enablement and measurement?

I think so.

Within the second state of affairs, a expertise firm I work with had been rising and molding its content material workforce for a couple of years. They preserve an acute consciousness of their workforce’s strengths and weaknesses. Extra importantly, the workforce chief has created transparency and understanding of their ongoing steadiness all through the enterprise.

At first, they centered on highlighting their strengths as a content material advertising workforce (creativity, trade thought management, and structuring content material for translation and reuse). They didn’t initially tackle sales-oriented content material – they left it to the demand era workforce.

Ultimately, they partnered with the demand-gen workforce, which continued to create nice advertising content material. The content material workforce helped them develop requirements and playbooks to facilitate translation and repackaging for a number of channels.

Years in, this mannequin works very nicely for them.

It’s a refined however vital distinction. The primary workforce thought its job was to excel at content material, and it centered on fixing the workforce’s weaknesses to make {that a} actuality. The second workforce realized its job was to make the enterprise good at content material, and it centered on its strengths to make {that a} actuality.

The usefulness of any content material abilities audit lies within the capacity to align the workforce’s core strengths to the priorities and abilities of the enterprise.

Over time, should you can preserve this consciousness, your workforce’s weaknesses can turn out to be its best power.

It’s your story. Inform it nicely.

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Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising Institute


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