Putting the “cult” in culture

Posted October 28, 2009 in Latest News & Insights

I had a fascinating discussion today with Michael Mattalo and Shana MacEachren of Fifth P Solutions about people and branding and another personal “a-ha” moment.  (FYI – Fifth P is a VERY cool company that ANYONE who has customers needs to check out.)

Anyway, here’s my “a-ha” moment.

Organizations spend hundreds of thousands (make that millions) of dollars building their brand.  They define their brand “promise” and “value” and come up with all kinds of snappy ways to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the executive suite, the senior executives (and in some progressive organizations) a smattering of emloyees come up with the “VALUES” for their organization (also known as, what words are we going to use to describe the culture we want to build here).  Now, as we all know, lot’s of times organizations come up with the standard set of “words on a wall” schtick (eg: “Our values are: innovation, customer focus, integrity and social responsibility… sound familiar???)  Anyway, this post isn’t about that.

My “a-ha” was about the process of defining your “corporate” values.  Shouldn’t they be aligned to your customer brand?  Shouldn’t you be figuring out how your corporate position aligns to how your people are behaving?

As Michael said to me: “How many marketing people have an HR person on their planning teams?”  *SNAP*

Instead of running two separate processes and coming up with two separate sets of rules around how we’ll treat customers vs. how we’ll treat each other internally… wouldn’t you be smarter to combine both of these thoughts into one?  Kill two birds with one stone and drive better business results.  Now that just seems to make tons of sense to me.

If this topic intrigues you, then join Michael and I on our e-Roundtable this Friday (Oct 30) or check out Fifth P Solutions for more details.

Happy leading!

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