Thursday, February 7, 2013

Interrupt or Be Interrupted

I've noticed over my career an alarming lack of social grace, especially among brash young managers who want to be heard--they don't think twice about interrupting. In a business setting, just like in most circumstances, interrupting is plain rude. The rules have not changed. Just because you've been invited to the boardroom table doesn't mean you are now in a position to share everything you have bottled up inside, whether or not it pertains to the unfolding conversation.

The same civility can be cast aside, however, when you consider the broader conversation between competing enterprises. Here, the rule is interrupt or be interrupted.

If your business model and business plan doesn't interfere with existing business models or create concern among those in your industry, you need to try again. A good business plan is nearly always disruptive because it seeks to innovate beyond what already exists to reach new customers and carve out new opportunities.

I'm at a relatively new venture called Domo. One of our billboards states that "business intelligence is no longer an oxymoron." One of the challenges of any young organization is to become part of the conversation. That often requires a bit of an interruption, especially when you have something important to say that others will appreciate.

Domo promises a new approach to business intelligence, but we aren't saying much yet. Inherently, there's a lot business intelligence can tell you. When internal numbers and trends are combined with what you can observe within an industry, that intelligence quickly becomes an actionable strategy. The potential of what we are doing here at Domo is huge. But we also understand how important it is to be the company that interrupts, disrupts, and redefines rather than being interrupted, disrupted, and redefined by a competitor.

Domo is not brash and rude. Domo is young, enthusiastic, and brimming with passion, like the bright, young executive in the boardroom who is just waiting for the right opportunity to be heard.

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