I often find myself on the phone with a management person who has suddenly seen the light and wants to lead the company onto a more strategic path; a path that will once and for all produce the types of results that will get the Hispanic market acknowledged by the organization. They will even say, I know we’ve hit the wall on this and we just won’t get past this point if we don’t coordinate our efforts internally.
And, here comes the BUT; but the rest of the organization thinks we’re doing just fine. Of course, that’s because they don’t know any better, but I can’t seem to get a sense for much appetite around an initiative like this, but we’re about to venture into some M&A activity and this work won’t get the attention it deserves, but the last time we did something in the Hispanic market it didn’t do well so it went away when budgets got tight, but our sales people aren’t asking for it so it’s hard to justify….and the list of buts goes on…
The key is not get stopped by what can seem as insurmountable hurdles. If you do, you can be assured that a year or two years from now someone else will come along and the same conversation will start all over again
I believe the key is knowledge. Those of us who want to single handedly mobilize an organization to leverage the Hispanic market to effect growth must face the fact that naysayers simply make assumptions, repeat what they’ve “heard,” carry forward stereotypes and make decisions not to act based on ignorance. Education of the business opportunity Hispanics represent is critical, and education on how the opportunity links to and supports the company’s priorities, direction, goals and strategies is paramount.
You must also realize that when colleagues hear someone talk about the need to embark on a Hispanic market strategy, they think their world is about to be turned upside down. But, in fact, if a team gathered to become knowledgeable about what is in it for them, they’d find the Hispanic market nut is no harder to crack than any other market nut. And growth opportunities will become self evident.
The key is to embark on this fact finding mission in collaboration with stakeholders because these decision makers need be hands on in order for the information to sink in. In order for the insights to be a catalyst for action, decision makers need to arrive at significant AHA moments for themselves followed by good solid discussion between decision makers about their discoveries and implications. And suddenly, like magic, it will happen. Engagement, interest and questions followed by action.