Business World Shift: The introverts are coming

Introverts will someday rule the business world

Personally not sure whether I’m an extrovert or an introvert, although that’s neither here nor there. I have believed for a long time that the marketing world needs more introverts, especially in the modern age — where marketing should be a more “data-driven” concept where you look at what people are doing, you synthesize/analyze that, and you make decisions off of it.

I realize, however, that the transition from “trade shows and up-sells and the gut feeling of the execs” (all extrovert concepts) to “analytics and data synthesis and optimizing ideas for a customer” (mostly introvert concepts) will take a while. In most marketing departments, extroverts are still in command. Like hires like, and like-minded surround themselves with like-minded. To flip the script, we need a while. Maybe 10 years, maybe 20. Maybe I’m not really sure.

Someone smarter than me wrote an article for Inc on these same topics, and actually took it a little further than I even did:

All of this is obviously good news for introverts. As the Internet drives an ever-faster pace of change, introverts once relegated to the back room are now front and center, communicating directly. They no longer need extroverts to act as middle men.

I like this idea of a “Rise of the Introverts” — here’s another thing no one thinks about, BTW: they actually should be better at networking than extroverts, oddly — but, as noted above, it’s going to take a while. The way we approach “headcount” and “open seats” these days is massively flawed and subject to a ton of analysis paralysis; I wouldn’t say logical hiring decisions are being made on the regular, unfortunately. Most people don’t do a stop-and-think of what and who they actually need. Rather, they just plow ahead.

I do agree that many very old-school extrovert jobs — for example, a good chunk of sales (especially B2B) — are going to gradually (key word being gradually) transition to introvert-type jobs. It will be gradual because for all that the Internet and connectivity has done at a broader societal level, businesses still focus a lot of their efforts in other realms.

Think about it broadly like this, right? The whole idea of how to build a brand, how to interact with consumers, and all that has shifted in the past 10-20 years from “Up-sell them everything in sight via marketing and advertising!” to “Understand them better where they’re at and tell your story to them there.” Extroverts are better at the former. Introverts are better at the latter. The shift is pretty logical.


Ted Bauer