Do you have a “need to know”?

Many years ago (in the last century) I beat the draft of 18 months and enlisted in the United States Army for three years. I wound up training for a unique job that called for a security clearance of “Top Secret”. I was also told that it was the same level of clearance held by Dwight D. Eisenhower, our President. Before I let that go to my head, I was also told that information floating around us “Top Secret” holders was based on a “need to know”. So, while he and I held the same level of clearance, our president needed to know many more secret things than I did. That was fine with me since it allowed me to focus on things I DID need to know.

That old rule came into recent use for me.

I had been struggling to understand the steady flow of new technology flowing into our company, LivePicture, and was not making it. I was overwhelmed, confused and falling further behind in the business of marketing our products and services. Our President/CEO, Steve Couchman, who is somewhat of a genius geek as well as a marketer and leader, was staying up on current advances but had no time to teach me. Then it hit me: most of what Steve and the tech-wizards were involved in were things I did NOT need to know. My job had nothing to do with understanding the technology we used. I needed to focus on the wonderful experiences that technology offered visitors to our clients’ trade-show booths.

Using the technology is different from understanding it.

Look at your smartphone. Along with making and receiving phone calls, it forecasts the weather, connects you with friends offers things you can buy and a multitude of other services. I’ll bet you never try to understand how it offers all those wonderful services. Your computer, even the thermostat in your home.

It’s not the “how”, it’s the “what”.

Everything mentioned above was introduced as something amazing. You learned what it did for you and most of us never bothered learning how it did those wonderous things. Along with super sharp, visuals with rapidly changeable visuals on a video wall, our company offers VR, AR and AI. Each of these adds to the experiential marketing we promise. I need to know about those experiences, not how they are developed and delivered.

What about you, are you taking advantage of the “need to know” rule?

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