My first major change initiative in the mid-90s was built on the back of
assembling the best with measured regularity. We pulled together large
and small groups with even periodicity. As a result we generated
significant progress over and again. Using these steady, regular
gatherings we systematically increased value while making it possible
for others to identify and locate us. I term these powerful assemblies,
pulses are targeted waves that result in steady, rhythmic
increases in market growth and
growth and value production can each happen independently, but then you
experience them as propped up by your effort, leaning heavy on the work
you must continue just to keep them alive.
Better to bring the two together and let them support each other, even
create synergies together.
When market growth and value production are mutually beneficial a sweet
spot emerges in which they play off of each other, grow each other, and
create an expanding center of activity that is beneficial to those who
Just as every living person has a pulse, so does every group.
Regularity breeds rhythm which enables others to join in, some to
excel, identity to form… and most of all, it makes it possible for
elements that would otherwise be discordant and isolated to assemble
and create something that is greater than the parts.
Two weeks ago I helped orchestrate a major gathering for a client, the
HR Certification Institute (HRCI). HRCI provides certification to HR
professionals on a global scale, ensuring that people are well prepared
for the challenges of human capital management in the 21st
HRCI sought to invigorate a conversation on the topic of strategic HR
and partnered with The McCormick Group here in Washington, DC, to bring
people together to think as a group, highlight and examine the crtical
issues when it comes to using HR to succeed in the market, and provide
a forum for acknowledged leaders in the field to talk about their
journeys and reflect on them.
The event culminated after six months worth of work. During that
half-year we generated a series of gatherings, large and small, each
creating its own pulse. Lunches, informal talk sessions, working
groups, meetings, a webinar and blog interactions. All of these
generated momentum, created a buzz.
The regularity bred emergence of real substance, topics that could be
identified and developed, interest from participants. Then came our climax
gathering at the Newseum,
September 16, where HR leaders from three major organizations including
the Pew Charitable Trusts, GTSI Corp, and Deltek shared their stories
of leadership, organizational transformation, and success in the
At every stage of the path, through the pulses, more and more people
learned about what we were doing. Each individual pulse was minor in
relation to the overall constellation that shone bright, reaching
across the Washington, DC, region, and bringing in business leaders,
CEOs, and other VPs of HR. This is the customer value pulse at work.
Customer value pulses can be used with customers just as easily as
members. Every time a pulse goes through the marketplace it calls
attention to itself while it does its work. A good series of these
pulses can rouse interest in a brand, introduce new products and
services, create a community of buyers, and build the base for
Ingredients to Generate Customer
1. Go for the best
Bring together people who have something to contribute, who are experts
with real experience to share.
2. Build a social
Reach out through like-minded people and pull in others who share the
interest. Work organically through relationships.
3. Identify topics
as they emerge
If you are working with real experts who care deeply about their work,
there will be new and vibrant issues that matter today. Notice them
when they arise and make them a centerpiece of the work.
4. Meet with
This creates the pulse and makes it possible for others to easily find
you as well as generate regular, steady progress. It does not have to
be face-to-face, though experience shows that at least one face-to-face
event per year increases magnitude of impact significantly.
5. Bring in an
expert to bring it all together
Have someone who really understands the challenges and opportunities of
the target group to bring the whole thing together. Find someone who
can create events (virtual and face-to-face) that stand on the merit of
their content and marry it to seasoned vets with passion.
professional support to package ideas
Deliver ideas in compelling and attractive ways using graphic design
and providing a professional tone.
7. Use experienced
marketers to advance content in the marketplace
Creating traction is a critical skill for success. Work with people who
know how to generate interest from key players.
8. Pay attention to
Market initiatives are nothing if not successful. Traction, engagement,
and participation are a pre-requisite to succeeding in commerce.
Discover what is providing traction and build that capacity.
Seth’s Upcoming Events
Innovation that Drives Value Generation and Financial Growth,
Oct 25 & Nov 15, 12:00-1:30, downtown Washington, DC, location to
This 2-part symposium is limited to CEOs only. There is no charge for
participation. This is part of my larger effort to provide insight on
driving innovation that delivers on both member value and finance.
Expect to see a series of Fast Co pieces as well as some white papers
in the weeks ahead on this same topic. If you are interested in
attending or the white paper series, send me an email.
JumpStarting Business – Getting Things Going Fast,
Oct 28, 12:00-1:30, Chef Tony’s, 4926 St Elmo’s Ave, Bethesda, MD
This the 7th in my ongoing series to teach the techniques behind my
successful consulting practice. $15 charge covers a meal by Chef Tony.
Topics at this event include Getting Engagements Fast and Exactly What
to Do when Things are Slow, Click
here if you are interested in