We were almost finished with our daily call when the conversation turned to increasing White Paper registrations. I asked Nancy, “Is there any reason we can’t set up our White Paper registration the way we do the Webinars?”
Now, as some backstory, at the beginning of 2015, we were looking for ways to increase our Webinar registrations. Of course, the best way to get folks to do something they probably want to, but aren’t doing, is to make it extremely easy. So instead of requiring people to register for one Webinar at a time, we developed a checklist-style form where they could input their information once, but check off all the webinars they wanted to attend.
And it worked wonderfully, increasing our registration rate at least 20 percent. For some reason, during the next year and a half, we never applied this format to our White Paper program. But on that day last week when our minds turned to increasing White Paper registrations, we hit upon the solution that had been staring us in the face for a long time.
“I’m excited!” Nancy said, after we’d implemented the new system. “I felt like last year, when things were slow, we were coming up with new ways of operating all the time. This year, it felt like we hadn’t changed anything in a while, and it was kind of making me nervous.”
I thought about it and said, “You make a great point, and I think there’s big lesson in there,” I said. “We should always get nervous when we haven’t innovated in a while, when we haven’t revamped something or added something or changed something.”
Nancy had hit on something tremendously important in her comment. Once you accept the fact that innovation is vital, you no longer fear or disdain change; you crave it. You know that its absence doesn’t indicate the status quo, but staleness. And you simply must assume that your competitors aren’t taking the same extended pit stop you have. In such a scenario, extinction is merely a matter of time.
Can you force change? Sure, why not? Simply pick a process or product or solution and put it under the microscope. Task yourself and your team with improving it in some way. Take advantage of tools embedded in the products that have been left dormant, or, like us, migrate a solution that has worked in another area.
When it comes to our Webinars, we’ve made two significant improvements of the last few months, both, interestingly, at the request of sponsors who simply inquired, “Can you do this?” On the one hand, we’ve integrated a live TweetChat right into the Webex viewing console to complement the conversation being held with our speakers. Secondly, we’ve embraced Webex’s live polling to further enhance interaction with attendees and spur dialogue from the results.
Is running a poll during a Webinar groundbreaking? No, certainly not, but it is for us because we hadn’t done it before. Innovation through imitation is still a great achievement — don’t set the bar so high you miss the low-hanging fruit.
And so, I continue to evolve as a leader and business person and we continue to evolve as a team, and in that evolution is the key to our survival and success. Despite what I thought six years ago, doing things as you’ve always done them (even the things that made you successful) isn’t the best way to stay successful, but the exact opposite.