We Belong Together.
More and more these days, my work includes not just the brand evolution programs that I help organizations with, but guidance that allows these evolutions to take root and bear fruit. This includes leadership advising and team-culture alignment work.
It’s not a good use of financial and time resources for an organization to go about a meaningful brand evolution only to have that hard work wither on the vine, so to speak. The missed opportunity of planting and nurturing the brand, with care, inside the culture can spoil even the best of brands.
Just like people, businesses need to evolve in order to thrive.
It starts with leaders recognizing that they want to do business a particular way and then stepping into that decisive action in order to capitalize on the near and long-term benefits of an evolved brand.
When researching and writing my book, Brand Love & Loyalty, it became clear that all work is human-centered work. We humans need to be involved in the intentional direction of their evolution. Like people, organizations begin to evolve from the inside out. Refined or captured beliefs that drive consistent team behavior is what ultimately creates effectual change, innovative leaps and business outcomes.
How does this happen?
Having the team on the same page, figuratively (aligned in beliefs in a brand platform) and actually (through consistent team action) is what Jim Collins was pointing to when he said in Good To Great “get the right people in the right seats on the bus, headed in the right direction.”
In order to achieve alignment, the people within the organization need to feel that they are connected to and by these beliefs. This is true for all cultures, organizational ones or otherwise. A country, neighborhood, spiritual community, sports team, school, and research institution all have aligned beliefs and belonging at their center.
Belonging to one another is not just important, it’s a core human trait and inextricable from humanity.
Darwin knew it. Belonging is so essential to why humans thrive that in The Descent of Man he mentions “love” a startling 95 times and “survival of the fittest” only twice.
Brands are inseparably connected to culture and therefore to people, which is directly connected to the leadership’s beliefs. A humanized culture is an aspect of the evolved brand and is filled with evolved leaders that have clear and driving values. By aligning with the brand beliefs and living up to them in action, the people within the culture create their own, organic version of belonging.
With gratitude, Steven Morris