Getting people to follow a predetermined path is not easy nor rewarding task. We have come to value autonomy. Daniel Pink speaks about the important of autonomy as a critical component of motivation in his book, Drive. How do we allow those that want us to succeed to do so in a manner that is consistent with their values and talents? Retweeting, forwarding emails, liking, and voting in online contests remains compelling to a few and perhaps for a limited amount of time. Some of the greatest movements have provided the parameters and allowed the fans to form their own tribes. You may be able to orchestrate the wave during a football game when everyone is sitting in the stadium but it is much more challenging when people are remote to the event.
Consider the Surfrider Foundation. This is an organization that Beth Kanter highlights in her book, The Networked Nonprofit. This advocacy group allows each chapter to customize the national logo to represent its local topography and seas scape. Risky proposition perhaps from a branding aspect and developing continuity but the membership’s allegiance to their local chapter outweighs the possible drawbacks.
Are you empowering or constraining your strongest advocates?