A little over 15 years ago I stood at the gateway of a journey which may well have now culminated in a proposition that will define our contribution to a better world.
Having left behind a successful career as a bank chief economist, and cast aside an opportunity to enter the lucrative world of investment banking, I was employed as the General Manager Strategy for a leading, successful and fast-growing company. When we think corporate strategy, we usually think research, analysis and planning. I’d always been fascinated in what made ‘organizations’ tick, but through my own reading and deep discussions with those successful (and some less successful) in business, I uncovered a dilemma that has continued to drive me ever since.
With strategy - the problem is not in the thinking, but in the doing!
Almost every significant organization has a strategy, some brilliant, some good and admittedly, some which are ill-conceived. But regardless, the stark reality is that very few organizations ever achieve anything like the true potential their strategy promises. The research certainly bears that out.
Organizations struggle with what seems like a simple ambition – to keep getting better.
So, what is an organization?
There may be many relevant answers to that question, but I like to say the starting point is that ‘an organization is simply a group of people who come together to create something of value for others’. Show me an organisation that doesn’t fit that criteria?
If that is true, then I believe that what really matters for sustained performance of an organization, is the quality of both the connections that are made between the people on the inside, and the connections they then make to stakeholders on the outside (customers, suppliers, shareholders, communities).
Above all, everyone must be connected to that value which the organisation aims to create for others - It’s purpose. Organizations connected to their purpose ensure that everyone has a clear line of sight to the customer – no matter how far removed they are from interacting with them - and the importance of their individual roles have for the stakeholders, inside and out.
In today’s parlance, we talk about this as the need to both ‘align’ and ‘engage’ your employees around what really matters to the business. ON-Brand does exactly that.
ON-Brand is an ethos, a system, a practice – founded on the idea that change happens in conversation. ON-Brand represents a blend of the best thinking, resources and tools that we have developed in the past 15 years’. It cuts to the core. In essence, we’ve successfully ‘connected people through their work’. In doing so, it has made a difference – to organisations, to teams, and to individuals.
Fundamentally, it offers a for leaders at all levels of your organization to create meaningful dialogue around what really matters to your business at any time. A platform that is embedded in ‘business as usual’ (not bolted alongside), which allows you to implement your strategy, or quickly shift the focus of your organisation in times of need. And it develops and sustains a culture that enables both people and organisations to keep getting better.
That’s our ambition. For our clients, our partners, and for ourselves, to keep getting better.
Learn more when Paul Stewart speaks at JiveWorld16 Conversations for good - building better partnerships
Note: while Paul's presentation is in the External Community Engagement stream, ON-Brand is an approach that 'engages' 'empowers' and 'excites' company cultures. So, it's directly relevant to delegates interested in Employee Engagement and Communication.