The Shift from Push to Pull: Creating an Orbit


One of the greatest shifts we're seeing today is a shift from push to pull. We're in a world now where our customers and our employees don't need us the way that they used to. It used to be that we needed to advertise, we needed to promote, we needed to push information out to people, so that they knew who we are, what we sell, why they should buy from us—and so our employees would know what was happening in our organizations. But what social and digital and mobile media have done is that they have enabled people to find it on their own. And so we don't need to be as pushy as we did before. Now it's really a matter of attracting people towards us, of pulling people into what I call an 'orbit' around our brands and around our organizations. This is very new territory but one which is increasingly important in business and society. And creating this kind of gravitational field that pulls people into what we're doing, that inspires their engagement and their trust and their participation, is the major challenge of leadership in the 21st century.

Mark Bonchek, interviewed by MJ Petroni at the MIT Media Laboratory