How do you lead, when everyone’s their own leader?
Recently I read an article on the Design Business Council blog by Greg Branson about how CEOs are adapting to changing employee attitudes.
In the article Greg talks about a Wolff Olins report that revealed a number of interesting challenges identified by current CEOs. “86% of CEOs report big changes in their practice; changes that include the way the culture of the business has to be shaped, how employees are being engaged through a shared social purpose and how they, more than ever, are individualists. Employees increasingly have their own purposes, and resist corporate conformity. Leaders are having to find ways to mould their companies around individual employees’ purposes: 42% of surveyed CEOs cited this emerging trend, with Europe (62%) in the lead.”
What we see here is a tipping point where the brand is the pivot. We have spoken often of the role a ‘greater purpose’ plays in brand strategy. When a brand stands for something greater than selling the product or service it represents (think Redbull standing for ‘Adrenaline pumping pursuits’ – Harley standing for ‘Freedom’ – TOMs Shoes standing for ‘Fighting poverty in South America’ – etc.) it attracts those who share a passion for the same greater purpose in life. Well the same goes for employees.
A business, like a brand cannot mean everything to everyone. Instead it has to choose what it stands for and consistently demonstrate that in a meaningful way. rather than moulding a company around a thousand individual purposes, brand provides a lightening rod to attract employees whose individual purpose is aligned to the company’s. Those staff then consistently demonstrate a higher degree of engagement and all of the benefits that flow from that.
When we talk employee branding, it all begins with clarity of purpose, supported by a layered program of engagement and opportunity to help bring that shared purpose to life.
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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Pic from Wolff Olins CEO report.