Matthew T Grant


Tall Guy. Glasses.

MarketingProfs Business-to-Business Forum 2010

b2b_save200_180x150_bloggerTwo years ago I attended the MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston and, frankly, it changed my life.

Aside from finally getting to meet the fabulous Ann Handley in person, I found myself connected to a community of smart, interesting, and engaged marketers that constitute the core of my professional network to this very day.

Well, guess what? MarketingProfs is hosting another B2B Forum May 3-5 at Boston’s Seaport Hotel. The emphasis on practical, actionable learning is one of the things that I’ve always valued about MarketingProfs events and, once again, they’ve assembled an impressive roster of speakers who will bring a ton of real-world experience and, more importantly, useful advice to the sessions they lead. I’ve met a number of these folks – Amy Black, Rachel Happe, Christina Kerley, David Thomas, Laura Ramos – and must say that they are smart, thoughtful marketers that, frankly, you can’t afford not to meet.

But wait, there’s more! MarketingProfs also does a great job lining up keynote speakers and this year is no exception. First, there’s David Weinberger, co-author of the runaway business hit, The Cluetrain Manifesto, who will be talking about what marketers are still missing about the digital economy. Secondly, attendees will also get a chance to hear Mitch Joel, who I saw at PodCamp several years ago and who remains one of the most humorous and thought-provoking speakers I’ve seen.

And if that’s not enough, I will be there in the role of Blog Therapist. Seriously.

It’s not to late to register and if you use the codeword “BLOG” then you’ll get yourself a $200 discount.

See ya there!

It’s ALL About Fit

3729030771_11805d61db_mA while back, I made a rap video called, “It’s All About Fit” (see below).

My point there was that, when hiring someone, organizational fit was the key ingredient to that person’s success in the role as well as the organization’s “success” in nurturing and retaining a valuable employee over the long haul.

“Fit schmit,” I hear you say. “All I care about is whether or not they can do the job. Corporate culture schmorporate culture – at the end of the day, performance and results are what matter.”

Obviously, the person needs the skills and experience required by the job – you don’t hire a Java programmer who can’t really program in Java just because they get along with everybody –  but that’s really just another way of saying that the person’s capabilities need to fit the requirements of the position.

The problem is that for many jobs finding someone whose skills fit is easier than finding someone whose skills fit AND whose work ethic, personal demeanor, and values fit in with those of the immediate team and the culture as a whole. Because the former case is easier, people usually hire based on skills and hope for the best.

It’s also why HR professionals often say, “Hire for skills; fire for fit.”

I’m bringing this up because I spent a couple days on a client site interviewing and leading discussions with folks at many levels of the organization. The more time I spent with them, the more I liked them as people and the more I appreciated the organization itself. I found myself thinking, “I really want to work with these folks and, to the extent I can, be a part of what their trying to do.”

All of which made me think that, for a business to succeed, you not only need to hire people who support the mission, share the vision, and fit into the culture, but you also need to find clients that do the same.

It’s always hard to say “no” to business, but isn’t it harder to have to work on projects you don’t really care about or with people that you don’t trust, admire, or respect?

Isn’t it easier to do inspired work when you are actually inspired by the people you’re working with?

That being said, here is the “Fit” video for your viewing and reviewing pleasure:

Image Courtesy of LShave.

Publish and Perish

There are many reasons why my academic career didn’t pan out, but among them is undoubtedly the fact that I didn’t publish very much. For example, I never turned my dissertation on the Baader-Meinhof Gang into a book (though part of my research did end up in an obscure, Canadian journal called, Border/Lines).

When I did publish, it was essays like this one on the politics of gangsta rap.

Now, of course, I “publish” pretty much every day!

Life is so strange.