Archives For Leadership

date-your-company-1

 

Would you date your company? This may come across as a weird question. Possibly because it creates the idea that companies can take on human personality and characteristics. I will submit that is entirely possible and does happen.

 

If a company can take on human characteristics, then who’s might they exhibit? In many cases, it’s the leader’s traits that a company can mimic. However, over time it may evolve into something entirely different as a company either ages or grows. Whether you are a corporate leader or if it’s the company where you work. Is it’s corporate image, if it were a person, one that you would be attracted to enough to date?

 

What type of characteristics can a company take on???? maybe fun, innovative, sexy, quirky or cutting edge, old & boring or elite and successful?

 

Many startups and tech companies at large work to be thought of as fun. Creating workplace environments and fun on-line images (changing logos) has been a hallmark of Google since day one, with numerous imitators along the way. Companies like this want to be that quirky friend that you never know what they may do next, think Southwest Airlines.  It’s been an attractive model for nearly two decades that is effective at attracting customers and employees alike. Additional quirky hipster companies include Toms, Starbucks, Zappos and their father figure, Apple.

 

How about that cantankerous person that is difficult to deal with? The one that you hate to see coming…. If I may draw a parallel, Comcast or most any cable company really. I’m sure they have heard this as a common sentiment but I can’t definitively say that they have made any efforts to improve their corporate personality. Referencing my opening question; Probably not someone I would date!

 

Do you have any friends who are fine people but just quite boring? Most of us do and most of us could name a dozen companies that fit that mold as well. How sad that someone has a workplace which is boring. Worse yet, for a business owner, their life’s creation and it is labeled……boring.

 

Which companies come across with sex appeal? Certainly, fashion designers and apparel brands have an advantage in this area. Some of the hottest most dateable brands would be Calvin Klein, Victoria Secret and Abercrombie and Fitch. Outside of the fashion industry brands like Go Daddy, Carl Jr’s Hamburgers and even Doritos often push the envelope with advertising which suggests an edgy or racy vibe.

 

Lastly, the “success” brand image. Think of coming across that Match.com profile of someone who has climbed mountains, CEO, looks great, perfect car etc. etc.! Companies like Tag Heur Watches, Nike, Nordstrom, American Express have done a great job of establishing themselves as elite while maintaining a certain cool factor.

Almost all of our perception regarding these companies is derived from their marketing. Their marketing department has shaped their brand image or traits. For smaller companies marketing is certainly important also, however much of a company’s image is based upon a customer/client’s daily interactions with a company. Therefore, it’s imperative that companies hire the right people, train them well and continually reinforce the image that they want to portray.

 

I’d encourage you to use my opening question, would you date your company?, as your corporate litmus test. If the answer is no, I would not date my company; re-vamp your corporate marketing, hiring process and training programs. If you answered yes, I would date my company; make sure that your brand is continually evolving because you don’t want to end up as that ex that you can’t quite remember or worse a one night stand!

 

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Challenge The Process TB

 

Every so often organizations should step back and be disruptive. By disruptive I mean challenging the status quo or as the title indicates our normal processes. Is this a good time for your organization to take a good look at your mission and the way that you go about facilitating your mission? Has your team drifted into just plain ol’ plain ol’ boring?

As with any group or organization you stand on the shoulders of the hard work and dedication of those that have come before you. Many times as organizations grow, they rely on a “the way that its always been done” mentality. Other times organizations can even drift from their original intentions. I never want to be disrespectful to those who have created the systems and processes that are currently in use. However, we need to make sure that we are always looking forward and continuing to be relevant. Often times that means being a little disruptive.

So, I would like to challenge each of you to think hard about your company, church, team, division etc. and ensure that you are doing a great job of building on top of what already exists. Below are some ground rules to consider as you embark on disrupting the status quo.

 

Rules of engagement

 

As you begin, here are a few ground rules that I believe to be important for organizational growth and unity.
 
  • Think Big!

    Bigger than you’ve ever previously thought about your job, company team etc. Lets make sure that we approach this without any limiting beliefs.
  • Publicly

    Be a “Raving Fan” of all that we are doing as an organization. Our fans or clients will be attracted to an organization of people who are positive.
  • Privately

    Be “respectfully critical” Lets be open to blowing up old and new ideas about the way we are approaching our business.

 

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Corporate culture quote