Leaders and leader wannabes, this is for you. Harvard Business Review recently touched on a topic that today’s companies rarely think about or choose to invest their time. The article is called The Best Leaders “Talk The Walk.”
You would think more companies would be on board with trying to figure out their own “isms.” After all, these mantra-descriptors as I call them help to create a company’s persona that defines the entire brand, inside and out of the company walls.
If you’re a marketer like me, you probably think all the time about brand attributes and characteristics. Honestly, I have not thought about “isms” mentioned in the article. However, I wish I did when I was up to my eyeballs trying to redefine brands throughout my career. Now I will add that to the mix.
Define or Re-Define?
Companies that go through the brand assessment process are trying to define who they are. Along the way they define or shall I say, re-define their brand characteristics. It’s an eye-opening process every company should go through. If anything, just to get everyone in the company on the same page. Typically it’s the marketers who see that change has to happen. However, the entire company should participate in the exercise.
Does The Brand Really Matter?
Marketers are hypersensitive to the brand assessment process as well as the outcomes. What I discovered in my career is that there are a lot of people who don’t think about the brand attributes or isms at all. These people probably have no measure of success or failure, no incentive to live out the brand correctly, and even no penalty for not doing it. Believe it or not, the action of living out the brand really does matter.
Additionally, with every new person that gets hired that is not 100% brainwashed with the company isms (or mantra), the company can get even more behind. It’s not just marketing that has to handle this assessment and execution, it’s everyone… yes, even Human Resources.
6 Tips To Get Your Company Thinking
If you’re thinking about embarking on a brand assessment process, first of all, read the HBR article. Then, take a look at these 6 tips. They are good for companies that want and need to identify their own “isms” and assess their brand.
- Choose your isms very carefully.
- Brand wash every employee as soon as they get hired
- Make every person accountable, even the CEO.
- When you hire, take the time to include all your employees to teach the company isms to the new hires.
- Continue to reflect on how isms are important. Give examples of success stories.
- Here’s the tough one… If an employee isn’t mirroring the isms, you must either re-train them or cut them loose.
Companies and employees that are on the same wavelength perform better. However, if your employees don’t know exactly what the company expectations are, or even the main company isms, you’ve got a problem on your hands. Get your company to think and act like the brand. Your performance, morale and productivity will never be better.
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