Saturday May 15, 2021 0 comments
By Bill Van Eron
Brand & Stakeholder Relevance
Headwaters Marketing & Innovation LLC - Get In Flow
CAPITALism, while it also speaks to business logic, it also unfortunately infers money make our world go around. I am sure most of us can relate to that, despite greater truths many miss.
All the attention to Bottom Line approaches as dictating business profitability, is flat out wrong. Most in management embraced it as ‘the strategy’ for decades. It was even a legal requirement, which also challenges legal reasoning that attention to shareholders was in deed priority one, versus attention to others which only last year was proclaimed as priority one by leaders, stuck just saying the words. While certainly, a more caring, psychological view would have revealed the fallacy, it is hard for most of us to recall any leadership challenges to it, or more importantly, great questions put forth internally & externally. Worse, how many of you have ever heard your management ever owning up to that huge mistake? Success, will ignore those who fail to embrace a more open, enabling leadership approach. As surely more employees relate to values that define relevance, after they reflect on its absence & benefits.
When a culture is truly closed, those questions fade away as employee’s, resellers, customers, market influencers all interpret your brand and your efforts as caught in your own status quo. Why care, when you don’t. This is but one major reason for the need to change now. My own work the last 40 years has long proven that attention to others, purpose and attitude, earns the greatest relevance & success follows that. Employees, taking the brunt of responsibility to earn relevance across thousands of business touch points, may be appreciated, yet largely unrecognized by management that is one dimensional, such as we see in tech, medical or science as all left brain dominated firms. They are great at meeting their tech demands, while all tech firms fail to see & recognize the skills that earn higher relevance. Heck, most opt to ignore that what you stand for, is far more important than what you make.
How’s diversity, inclusion, trust, stakeholder regard & culture, interpreted? Dare you question it? This blog will give you a peek at the bigger picture, that all stakeholders benefit by, once all see the light.
Here’s a sampling of outcome and logic-based questions that help you to influence and champion positive actions:
1. As we embrace creating a higher brand value for stakeholders, how do our ideas get enabled?
2. What are managements fears, that we can address with greater answers?
3. What is driving this major, yet enabling shift, so we can rise above the norms & to add value?
4. How does raising the bar, fuel or reduce management fears, while earning higher regard & success they and we all thrive from?
5. As a Functional Manager or Employee, what is it we are missing as we all seem in decline?
6. Our markets are all diverse and yet they have 100% transparency to who is worthy or not. Why aren’t we as diverse and vested to understand what each values and more share?
7. As a PR Pro, less editors trust what we say. How can we improve that and at what benefit?
8. We are tech-aware, yet at what cost to our humanity, given how that is what earns relevance?
9. We all like the idea of a single platform, yet why are all way off on their human-centric design?
10. As Millennials, we prefer an entrepreneurial culture. Is our bias against big firms practical?
11. If I am the only one with these unique & vital skills, why do I need approvals from those that fail to understand?
12. When something is truly new, why do we ask conventional sources how to do, what they have yet to understand?
13. What is the highest impact and value we can hope for, to earn managements support sooner and grow it as a future-now success system?
14. We fail to innovate as we lack a view to relevance across our ecosystem. See more, do more.
15. Most Millennials want a company with a purpose, yet less than 2% have one. Why is that?
While many tend to dislike too many poorly phrased questions, and more employee’s share ideas anonymously, in fear known sources are often brushed aside, there is a better middle ground.
A good friend of mine started ‘Idea Spies’ as a way to help nurture and acknowledge great ideas, that fall victim to closed cultures. Check it out as a likely catalyst to shape ideas others see as worthy.
While much of this may be new to you, whether as employee’s. functional leaders, or as those on boards, we all get stuck in a status quo. Especially if we love what we do, without caring to enable others to care what gets done together. I loved design as it kept me a continuous learner as key to mentoring others where we recognize skills they have yet to apply. I was recruited to lead PR by a manager who was seeking more out of PR by recruiting one with creative thinking and relationship building skills, versus English Majors. She was right as we earned the highest coverage, despite being a startup in HP’s smallest business. Likewise, while trained as a designer to seek new stimulus to achieve authentic relevance, when a design judge said I was doing hero marketing by shaping the primary relevance by doing what lesser trained ‘experts’ used to define work, that was not good enough in either case. So I opted to leave my top ranked design job to immerse myself two years in HP’s customer-facing stakeholder ecosystem – sales, resellers & customer events. Seeing real business through a values-based designers eyes, major improvements were made with agility and clarity. A whole untapped world of innovation by design opened up to me. Just as it should to those of you who have skills, such as asking great questions, interpreting needs before most see them, championing values, such as trust, and a lot more. No schools teach this yet. Most managers may agree with the logic where you frame it up well & catalyze bolder actions on a solid framework of earned relevance. Doing is better than expecting.