Not everything was built to be bigger.
Some things are best left unscaled.
Otherwise you end up with a bloated, unapproachable brand that people ignore.
BUT THAT’S THE PROBLEM: Organizations are treating scaling like fetish.
Computer networks, I understand. You have to expand to cope with increased use.
But when it comes to the human side of business, when it comes to treating people like people, keeping things small is more profitable in the long wrong.
Today we’re going to explore a lit of things you can’t scale:
1. You can’t scale interaction. Engage with swift responsiveness, nonstop gratitude, unexpected honesty, exquisite playfulness and loving unfairness. Those aren’t just interactions – they’re social gifts. And they change the recipient. Are you in business to sell a product or to become known for a unique way of interacting with the world?
2. You can’t scale art. As soon as you bastardize something into a system, a process or a factory, it stops being art and starts becoming a commodity. Not everything can be comfortably quantified. And what can’t be measured, matters. Are you trying to compartmentalize something just to preserve your sense of control?
3. You can’t scale yourself. Why would want to? Small means nimble. Small means you can engage with customers directly and personally. Small means you can respond to changing needs immediately. And you can take risks without the pressure to remain tragically predictable. Are you aiming for bigness or greatness?
4. You can’t scale unity. Forcing employees from ten different countries to wake up in the middle of the night and attend a webinar just to meet budget is an insult. And it’s not the same, either. Outsourcing the human function fails. Do you need to conduct another sterile, boring and impersonal meeting with the people who matter most?
5. You can’t scale connection. If you want your interactions to reduce the distance between people, to enhance the personal bond you have with them, go analog. At least some of the time. Look people in the eye and talk to them with your mouth. Face to face is making a comeback. Will you hop on the bandwagon?
6. You can’t scale intimacy. Love is not something we do to each other love is what is present when there are not two. If you want touch everything around you, if you want secure a spot in people’s head, lead with your heart. Be touchy feely. It never goes out of style. What do you usually choose instead of love?
7. You can’t scale soul. Bringing intense humanity to the moment requires a deployment of naked personhood. It’s risky. It’s vulnerable. It’s scary. But that’s the only experience people will use to form an impression of you: How they feel about themselves when they’re around you. How much soul equity do you own?
8. You can’t scale contact. Sending mass emails makes people feel small, unseen and nonessential. Plus the obsession with open rates will drive you crazy. Instead of spamming the world, start a blog. Post daily as if you were having a conversation with to one person. The people who matter will find you. What did you write today?
9. You can’t scale charm. Magnetism pivots on the fulcrum point of better. It all depends on how you leave people: Alive? Believing? Breathless? Confident? Elevated? Faithful? Honored? Infected? Refreshed? Relieved? The choice is yours. When you walk out of a room, how does it change?
REMEMBER: If size mattered, the dinosaurs would still be around.
Scalability is highly overrated.
Stay small and win big.
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How do people experience you?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
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