Lately I have been to a couple of conferences about online business. The topics have touched everything from email marketing to conversion optimization to customer insights to relationship management and many other. Although they have been some really enjoyable sessions what hit me was the vast amount of knowledge you have to have to be able to make good decisions today. Driving online business today is much harder than it was just 3 years ago.
I have a feeling that the complexity has increased exponentially the last couple of years. This puts a lot of pressure to be able to know a bit of everything since everything is interrelated. How much more complex will it become? My spontaneous answer is much more complex.
So if it is already complex how will it be possible for a manager to possess knowledge in all fields to make good decisions. There are so many parameters to keep track of that it makes it impossible to know everything. Time has become such a scarce resource that you need to clone yourself to manage things effectively.
Let me give you an example of the complexity one faces.
If you had an online business a couple of years ago you would probably do fine with a website and some adwords buying. Then you hook up emails. After that you had to consider SEO. After that user reviews was a big thing. Then you had social media. Then you had conversion optimization. Then you have retargeting. Then mobile apps. And so on, I think you get the picture. Considering the technical aspects, such as load time, responsiveness etc you more or less need to be a super human to know everything.
Of course you have professionals in each position, but if you want to be successful as a business your top managers have to make good decisions. To make good decisions you need to know the key aspects of each area. To truly know the key aspects of each area you need to have hands on experience. No human, or at least no normal person has worked within all of these areas especially in a larger organisation.
I think that many companies today have not adjusted themselves to the complexity of an online world. The complexity of everthing being interrelated has huge implications on how you make decisions and how you create an effective organisation. The bigger the organisation is the bigger the challenge.
So if you are an online manager the only solution is that you should clone yourself ;). Then you get double time. Just think how much you can accomplish.