You may forget the internal marketing, but it will not forget you. Crossing the Chasm is the marketing pattern coined Geoffrey A. Moore. It has had a significant and lasting impact on high tech entrepreneurship. Sometimes said it is “still the bible for entrepreneurial marketing 15 years later”. Wiki has some background.
In our experience the Chasm is relevant in any organizational transformation. However, there are two significant differences.
When driving the transformation, you first need to succeed in the early market.
Then the game will change, and the new technology or culture needs to cross the chasm. The Pragmatists expect referrals from other Pragmatists. For them the Enthusiasts and Visionaries are unreliable. Here you have more characteristics collected from different sources:
|Enthusiast, Visionaries, Early adopters||Pragmatists, (Conservatives, Skeptics)|
|Want technology and performance||Want solutions and convenience|
|Experiment. Build ”state-of-the-art” from the ground up||Use proven applications. Want the”industry standard”|
|Proponents of revolutionary change||Proponents of evolutionary change|
|Project oriented||Process oriented|
|Take risk||Avoid risk|
|Discount other’s experience||Value reference highly|
|Define the future||Worry about today|
|Are quickly moving to the next big thing.||Get left cleaning up the practical mess.|
This cultural difference will manifest at the boundaries of the early experiences of success. It is even stronger, if the boundary is between established subcultures, for example the techies and the business people. We have witnessed these conflicts in several companies. And it is not only because people think differently. There are real incompatibilities and conflicting business interests at these boundaries.
The lesson from the Strategic Marketing as coined and productised by Heiman & Miller has the following advice:
You need to sell the new idea to three different roles in the organisation:
If any of these roles is unwilling, there will not be enough support.
In marketing, successfully crossing the chasm is the wet dream. It means scaled business, the Tornado. In transformations it means irreversible change of the culture, in the whole company. But it is not only about marketing. How do you scale the transformation - provide enough support for the mainstream?
Before finding Agile, Ari built software for embedded distributed fault tolerant software for seven years. For the next decade he worked as an organizational therapist with cultural change, teamwork and leadership. Since 2006 he has contributed to LeSS-flavoured Agile transformations including mechanical engineering, market automation, and embedded system development. For the last couple of years Ari had international coaching assignments ranging from teams to board.