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  • 1.
    • Thanks to you all for joining us today as we discuss How culture and brand can help your agency in the most amazing ways!I understand most of you with us today are from government agencies. So let’s talk about how to LINK your brand to your culture for MISSION SUCCESS.We’ll talk about how to do that by identifying a higher purpose and USING that higher purpose to inspire employees, then we’ll discuss aligning your team internally by really living your values. The information we’ll cover in this presentation can be applied as high up as the agency level or as low down as the program level. So whatever your level of leadership in your organization, we’ll give you some tips to take back that you can put to use right away. INTRO SLIDE—Is Your Agency Brand-less? How culture and brand can help your agency in the most amazing ways.Before we get started, let’s talk about the weekend…Today is Thursday. You guys are probably getting ready for your weekends. I’m sure you have big plans for the weekend, right?Well, I’m excited about my weekend plans. I live in Alexandria and there’s a big Halloween parade on Sunday and lots of parties after the parade. I’ve been spending time getting the kids costumes together, and planning our big day. I’ve been talking about it around the office and people can feel my excitement. It should be lots of fun.Going into Thursday night, everyone’s starting to get into weekend mode…There’s an excitement in the air and anticipation about the weekend. Everyone looks forward to the weekend. You may even walk into the office on Friday and greet people with the saying “Thank God it’s Friday!” And when you walk out the door at the end of the day, you breathe a sigh of relief that you have a few days away from the office.NEWExcited about the weekend?Now, fast forward to Monday morning. Think about how you feel on Sunday evening as you’re getting ready for bed, thinking about going to work the next morning. Is there the same level of excitement and anticipation about going to work that you had about leaving work?This is where, if we were in person, I’d probably hear a lot of laughter. Unfortunately, most people aren’t as excited to go to work on Monday morning as they are to leave work on Friday night. NEWHave that Monday-Morning Feeling?But what if you were excited to go to work? What if you felt truly connected to your organization, and you couldn’t wait to get to work because you knew you were using your talents and skills to the best of your ability, you worked in a team of people all facing the same direction, working toward the same goals, and you knew how your efforts were helping to serve a higher purpose?Now what if your whole office felt that way? Wouldn’t you be much more likely to achieve mission success? Engaged employees stay for what they give. Disengaged employees stay for what they get. Don’t we all want to work with an engaged team?Today we’re going to talk about how to succeed in today’s economy, and have a Thank God it’s MONDAY feel, by integrating your brand and your culture.Believe it or not, there ARE people who are excited to go to work. In fact, I’m going to show you some companies who have successfully LINKED brand and culture, and their employees LOVE going to work.NEWEngaged employees stay for what they give. Disengaged employees stay for what they get. So before we get too far, let’s define the words “brand” and “culture.”Let’s see a virtual show of hands of those of you who are responsible for your agency’s brand. Judging from the attendees in the group, I’d guess most of you would not have raised your hands. When most people think about the word brand, they think about logos, color choice, fonts. They imagine that brand lives in the Marketing and Communications, or Public Affairs divisions of their organizations. Today we’re going to talk about Brand in a different way. We’re going to talk about BRAND as the sum of all experiences people have with your agency. Simply put: Your Brand is your IMAGE: It’s how people see your organization. How people FEEL about your organization. So it’s not just the marketing and communications efforts. It’s every touch point, from a website to a telephone call, to a process and procedure for getting the job done. Your brand is the EXPERIENCE people have with your organization, from the very first time they hear of you to the very last experience they’ve had with you.BRAND SLIDENow, let’s move on to the definition of culture for today’s presentation. Let’s define CULTURE as the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular group.Simply put: Your CULTURE is your organization’s IDENTITY: It’s what you as a group believe in. It’s what you stand for. So culture isn’t just, “do we have a pool table in our lounge,” or “do I like Bob who sits next to me…,” it’s about the social and cultural norms of the organization. Culture is what leads the team when management isn’t there.CULTURE SLIDEBefore we get into the presentation too far, let’s go through our Agenda. First, we’ll talk about the EXTERNAL CONTEXT and Situation facing business/government today.Then we’ll show you the key to LINKING your Culture and Your Brand There we’ll talk about using a higher purpose and values to make this linkNext, we’ll discuss EXECUTION. The importance of Committing, Aligning and Living that higher purpose and values.And Finally, we’ll talk about Keeping on top of your Culture and Brand, how to MEAUSURE it and EVOLVE it.And if we have time, we’ll run through some examples of LINKED agencies. AGENDALet’s start our conversation addressing what’s going on in the world today...the external context. By external context, I’m talking about the things that we can’t control. How the world is changing around us and why we have to pay attention.Changes in the WorldFirst, we’re moving from an INDUSTRIAL economy to a KNOWLEDGE economy. Here you see a picture of an iPhone...have you ever noticed that on the back of the iPhone it says “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China. This is what’s happening in our economy…it’s changing from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy.But it’s not just happening all around us in the commercial sector. The characteristics of the knowledge economy are just as relevant to the government sector.The knowledge economy is one of ideas and information. It’s not about how many parts we can move off the assembly line.And the economics are of abundance, not of scarcity. For example, in this economy, if a person has an idea, and shares that idea with another person, more ideas pop up and more knowledge is created. Compare that to working with Steel. Once the steel is gone, you can’t make anymore cars.In this economy, it doesn’t matter where you work. We’re seeing more and more telecommuting, especially in government agencies, so you don’t have the benefit of a single office space that binds your team together. You need to find another tie that binds.So what does that mean for how you need to change your thinking? It’s incredibly important to understand how to communicate in today’s world…. How to pull those ideas and that knowledge out of people, and create a “space” for ideas to be multiplied. In order to do that, you have to get the culture right to encourage that knowledge flow.KNOWLEDGE ECONOMYAnother external trend to pay attention to is the Next Generation. The Millennials. This is a generation that is searching for jobs with a higher purpose, not just a paycheck. And let’s be honest, I think we’d all like to have a job that has a higher purpose. People of every age are looking to contribute to something greater than themselves…. To be a part of something bigger.And what does that mean for you? It means that as we move forward in this knowledge economy, where we are searching for the best minds to generate our competitive edge as a nation, we need to create a reason beyond a paycheck to drive people to work for our organizations.And remember, this generation is also the most connected through social media. NEW GENERATIONFor those of you who are familiar with social media…applications like FaceBook, Flickr, YouTube and Blogs… you know how quickly word spreads…both positive and negative…through the Internet. One positive experience can travel within minutes through multiple social media channels and touch consumers who have never had any contact with your organization. And negative experiences travel even faster. Anyone can get the word out-an employee, a customer, or a competitor.This has huge impacts for your agency, especially as you trust employees within your organization to deliver the brand experience to your audiences…internally and externally. You can’t you depend on your public affairs teams to control the talk about your organization. This means you need to have even more trust that your employee and customer experience are LINKED.SOCIAL MEDIABased on these blurring lines, the search for inspiring work and the need to share knowledge for success, what changes to we need to make in our thinking and actions as leaders in our orgs?BRAND IN A DIFF WAYHere’s where we get into the meat of the presentation: Linking Culture and Brand. Now remember, we’re talking about Culture as an internal IDENTITY and Brand as external IMAGE. If you walk away with nothing else today, remember, it’s not having a culture or having a brand that leads to more sustained success…it’s LINKING the two—your internal culture and your brand—so that there is no disconnect between what your employees believe and deliver and what your customers expect and experience.LINKING CULTURE & BRANDLet’s look at some statistics:Studies show that 86 percent of customer-facing employees communicate inaccurate information. (That means that 86% of people interacting with the public are telling your customers something different than what you want them to hear.)Let’s take that even further…Steven Covey’s research shows that 4 in 5 employees don’t understand the relationship between their tasks and their organization’s goals. (Think back to that TGIM idea. Only 1 in 5 is excited to go to work. Well, how could you be excited to go to work if you didn’t understand your role in the overall organization’s goals?)STATS NEGATIVEOn the POSITIVE side, let’s see what can happen when brand and culture ARE linked and people ARE engaged with their organizations…Watson Wyatt reports that Companies with a high level of employee engagement have 186 percent higher revenue.And are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity (this according to Mercer Management)Remember, highly engaged employees stay for what they can GIVE. Disengaged employees stay for what they GET. Those people who are excited to go to work on Monday get more done and achieve greater success for the organization than those who don’t.STATS POSITIVENow, Let’s look at an example of an UNLINKED and a LINKED organization. In September of 2007, the United Pilots Association took out a full page ad in USA Today. Let’s look at an excerpt from this ad:“…United Airlines continued to turn a deaf ear toward its most valuable assets: its pilots and our fellow employees …… United’s senior managers have enriched themselves through stock options, and in some cases, pay raises. These windfalls were made possible by the sacrifices and sweat of labor……United senior executives are intent on building a kingdom of wealth for themselves while ignoring the struggles of their employees…...Mr. Tilton, it’s time you started listening to our needs for a change. United Airlines is not about you. It’s about all of us.”UNITEDNow, let’s compare that to the ad the Southwest Pilot’s Association placed in USA Today about 6 months later:“…THANK YOU HERB! From cocktail napkin to cockpit, Herb Kelleher paved the way for the most spirited Company in the airline history. As you step down from the SWA Board of Directors, the pilots of Southwest Airlines would like to thank you, Herb, for 38 years of positively outrageous service to our Company and our pilots. It has been an honor and a privilege.”Clearly, the United Pilots did not see eye to eye with leadership about the goals and priorities of the organization. These are not people who were happy to go to work. And look at how brand and culture intersected in a powerful way by these pilots sharing their internal issues with the world in USA Today.Now what about Southwest? These employees are highly engaged, and their revenues showed it. SOUTHWESTAs this graph shows, based on data gathered from each company’s annual reports, Southwest consistently outperformed United in revenue growth. That’s what happens in the commercial sector in a LINKED company. What about the government sector? What metrics might improve in a LINKED government agency? What aboutEmployee retentionEmployee satisfactionHigher constituent satisfactionMore secure fundingWe’ll talk a little later about some benefits LINKED government agencies are enjoying because they’re doing this right./////////AIRLINE REVENUE GROWTH CHARTHopefully you’ll agree, based on what we’ve just discussed, that it’s important to consciously link your culture and your brand. Because for most all of you, it’s the employees in your organization who are either delivering or not delivering on your stake holder’s expectation.So let’s talk now about how you LINK your Culture to your Brand.HOW TO LINK CULTURE AND BRANDThere are two main elements that create that important link between your culture and your brand. The first is a Higher Purpose. The second is Values that are then translated into behaviors. Let’s start with higher purpose.Most people are familiar with a mission, or a vision, and sometimes mistake the higher purpose with these more common common business tools. A higher purpose is defined as a reason an organization exists beyond making money.It’s inspired, and describes how the organization will create positive change in the world. Now you might say, “I work for the government…of course my organization exists for a reason other than making money.” But how many of you feel INSPIRED as a group, about your work? How many of your constituents feel inspired through their connection with your agency?/////This higher purpose is the emotional connector to the brand. And it binds people both internally and externally to the organization.The higher purpose can be difficult to articulate, so let’s take a real life example.HIGHER PURPOSEYou guys may have heard of Zappos shoes. An online retail store that recently sold to Amazon for a valued stock price of $1.2Billion. Recently, I went to a presentation by the CEO of Zappos who talked about the evolution his company took from a mission-based focus to a higher-purpose-based focus. As you can see, in 1999, Zappos started out with the mission to provide the largest selection of shoes. Great. Sounds like a good mission. But it wasn’t enough. They kept searching for a focal point that would inspire their employees and customers. Something everyone could rally around.Was it providing the best customer service? MMmm, that seemed to work for a little while. Was it focusing on corporate culture and values to inspire? Well, that seemed a little more on target….Was it creating more of an emotional bond with their customers? They were getting on the right track. But they kept asking, “Why?” Why do we want to provide great customer service? Why do we want to have a great culture? Why do we want to create that emotional bond?Finally in 2009, after continually answering the question WHY--Zappos landed on a true higher purpose:“Delivering Happiness.” Now you can see that Delivering Happiness is a concept that works internally and externally. It inspires employees internally, building a culture of people excited and engaged in their work. And it is a focal point externally, building a brand that has an emotional connection to their consumers.ZAPPOS SHOESZappos CEO credits their growth to his continued progress towards this higher purpose. ZAPPOS REVENUELet’s apply this thought process to a government agency, because you may be thinking…I already have a higher purpose…I work for the government and my job doesn’t exist to make money, it’s to provide valuable services to Americans.Just having come back from Wisconsin, I figured I’d look up the USDA’s mission and vision to see if it qualified as a “higher purpose.”So here you see USDA’s Mission and Vision…taken directly from their website. Remember, this is the website both recruits and constituents use to interact with the USDA.Let’s review this mission and vision…How many of your organizations want to provide leadership based on sound public policy, the best available information and efficient management? Hopefully all of you. So that doesn’t sound very special to me. And it certainly isn’t terribly inspiring.Then, in USDA’s vision, we want to be recognized as a dynamic organization that provides integrated program delivery… Also not really something emotional to rally around.USDAWe provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management. VisionWe want to be recognized as a dynamic organization that is able to efficiently provide the integrated program delivery needed to lead a rapidly evolving food and agriculture system. But, what if the USDA could rally around a higher purpose like this: Boundless Nourishment.Wow…boundless nourishment…We’re not just dealing with food and farmers…we’re nourishing people, providing them fuel to grow and produce for America. We’re nourishing the economy by supporting rural farmers. We’re nourishing our land by protecting its health.A food supply with no boundaries. A wealth of safe and healthy food.Limitless opportunities for our farmers. Now that sounds like a cool thing to work for. And look…it ties into all of the elements of their strategic plan…Boundless Nourishment. Easy to remember. Inspiring. It’s loaded with opportunities and room for creativity and innovation. And it’s a purpose that allows for spirited messaging and action.Now, if any of you work for the USDA, don’t go running back telling everyone you were told here today that you need to adopt a “motto” of Boundless Nourishment. This is may or may not be the higher purpose of the USDA. I just came up with this in my living room without the proper research or testing, but I wanted to show you an example of what agencies are doing now, and how much more powerful they could be if they used this great tool of a higher purpose.New Slide: Boundless NourishmentStrategic Plan:expanding and developing marketssupporting international economic developmenthelping to expand job opportunitiesenhancing food safetyimproving nutrition and healthprotecting America's landsSo a Higher Purpose is an important tool. And perhaps you have one, perhaps you don’t. How do you know if your organization has a Higher Purpose?Here are some criteria to evaluate whether your agency is on the right track.It’s timelessIt’s obviousIt’s simpleIt inspiresIt works internally and externallyIt allows for innovationHigher PurposeSo the higher purpose only gets you so far. You need to understand how to put the higher purpose into use. That’s through values. Now we all know what values are. We learned our values growing up, and all like to think that we have them. And most of our organizations have values that hang on the wall or live on our websites. But how many organizations actually LIVE their values.How many organizations use their values to guide employee practices, business decisions, and in fact, all interactions internally and externally.Let’s go back to Zappos for an example…VALUESThese are Zappos 10 values that guide everything they do. You’ll see they’re different than most values out there, because they are actually guiding BEHAVIORS. Let me give you an example of how Zappos uses their values to link their brand and their culture:Let’s take #10: Be Humble. This isn’t just a way Zappos asks their employees to behave when they’re interacting with customers. They actually test for humility in their recruiting practices.Zappos flies their top recruits out to their offices in Las Vegas. As a service to the recruit, they send a shuttle bus to the airport to bring the candidate to their headquarters. The candidate goes through a full day of interviews, and as you can imagine, asking a candidate how humble they are may not get a very honest response. So what does Zappos do? They circle back with that shuttle bus driver to ask him how well he was treated by the candidate. If that shuttle driver wasn’t treated well, it doesn’t matter how excited they were about the candidate, there’s no hire.You can imagine that if an employee doesn’t live the values in their every-day life, they’re not going to truly change their behavior when they’re at work. The idea is to find candidates who already believe in your higher purpose and values to execute for you.ZAPPOS VALUESWondering about USDA’s values? So am I. I searched high and low on their website to see if they identified the values people looking for careers at the USDA should demonstrate, but couldn’t find anything about their values. Now this is interesting…but not surprising…. I reviewed the USDA’s most recent employee survey and the most negative responses related to a lack of reward for creativity and innovation problematic communication at various levels of the agency, andLack of involvement in organizational change.Think back to what we discussed earlier….the characteristics of the knowledge economy… People are looking to be a part of something bigger where they can use their creativity and make a difference in the organization. People need ways to communicate and connect internally for better performance. And people need to understand how they fit into the organization and its goals. Using the higher purpose and values in a meaningful way creates emotional connections to your agency. And this results in more creativity, better communication and a better understanding by employees about how their actions contribute to agency goals.So, Ask yourself and your colleagues about your values. Are they truly linking your culture & brand?Do they just hang on your wall?Do they guide decision-making?Are they actionable—can they be translated into behaviors?And the real measure--Do they lead when management’s not around?ValuesSo we’ve covered the two major tools that LINK culture and brand…the higher purpose and values…We’ve seen examples of these put to use in LINKED organizations, and we’ve seen some of the deficiencies of an UNLINKED agency. But it’s not just about committing to values in recruiting and hiring practices, it’s about ALIGNING all of your business practices around the higher purpose and values. It’s about LIVING the higher purpose and values in everything you do.COMMIT ALIGN LIVESo let’s take a look at what I’m talking about. Here you see a graphic with the higher purpose in the middle of an organization—it’s really at the core of what the organization is all about. For Zappos it would be “Delivering Happiness.” For Southwest it would be “Democratizing the Skies.” (Making air flight accessible to everyone). For USDA—Boundless Nourishment?In the next ring, you’ll find the organization’s values. These are the values that leadership commits to and aligns departments around.But in order for these values to truly LIVE, they need to be translated into behaviors.Behaviors are the EMPLOYEES’ interpretation of the values. You can’t really mandate behaviors. Well, you can put some processes and procedures in place, but you can’t mandate all behaviors. Or if you do, employees certainly won’t want to work at your agency. When we’re talking about behaviors, 2 employees in different departments may take different actions, but as long both people are taking actions that reinforce the values, the LINK between the culture and brand has been made. For example, for a Zappos customer service employee, humility may be translated into treating their customers with total respect and care. But for a senior executive, it may be listening to every employee’s complaint with patience and concern. These behaviors are different, but they both reinforce the values and higher purpose. So what we’re talking about is COMMITTING and ALIGNING to the Higher Purpose and Values at Global level, then LIVING the higher purpose and values on an Individual level. Subcultures?CIRCLE GRAPHIC—Once you’ve made the commitment to your higher purpose and values, it doesn’t end there. What gets measured gets done. So the next step is to measure how well are you linked.You may already be measuring internal and external metrics. If you are, have you ever actually put those two sets of metrics together to see how your IMAGE (external perceptions) and IDENTITY (internal perceptions) compare? If they don’t compare well, youre not linked.You can do this formally or informally, and there are different levels of sophistication to evaluate the success of the linkage.And as with any time you measure results, you want to evolve your practices and implementation to ensure you continually improve. Your brand and your culture, because of changing internal and external situations, it’s is a living, breathing organism, needs to be continually evaluated and evolved to be relevant for mission success.MEASURE, EVOLVEWhat are some signs you might NOT be linked? Let’s say you don’t have internal and external survey results sitting in front of you on your desk…High turnoverLow employee satisfactionLow constituent satisfactionLoss of fundingBad pressMany times unlinked organizations get a reputation for not following through on their promises. When external promises can’t be fulfilled because of an uninspired or uninformed workforce, the brand suffers.NOT LINKED?Let’s go back to our circle graphic. Your higher purpose and your values don’t change throughout time. Once you land on them, you keep them. Now, based on the external context, those outer rings—that behavior and how the higher purpose and values are translated into action may change. But the only way to know what needs to change is by measuring. Once you know what’s working and what doesn’t, you can make adjustments to your execution. CIRCLE GRAPHIC AGAINSo let’s spend just a few minutes walking through an example of how these principles were applied in a government agency. Let’s first talk about the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, the massive 580,000 square foot welcome center that sits below the capitol building. To give you an idea of the size of this thing…it’s roughly ¾ of the size of the Capitol Building itself. In 2007, the US Capitol Visitor Center was going through the transition from a construction project to live operations, and they called us in to help them build a brand. Now, this was actually a really smart move…not that they called us…well, that too…but because they recognized the need for a brand.You see, the Capitol Visitor Center was a brand new entity. And it was the first time the House and the Senate were going to be represented together to the public under one roof.Now you think Capitol Hill is political because of Democrats and Republicans….that’s nothing compared to the strong division between the operations of the House and the Senate. This division is so strong in fact, that there’s actually an invisible line down the center of the Rotunda under the Capitol Dome. The House employs a person to buff the floor on their side, and the Senate employs a separate person to buff the floor on the Senate side. Can you imagine?In order for the new Capitol Visitor Center to really gain some independence from the politics happening above their ceiling, and survive this kind of historical political division, it needed an inspiring rallying point that all stakeholders could identify with and embrace.At that time, the CVC had 2 employees, one of whom was the brand new executive director for the organization. Based on leadership’s direction and our own research, we helped the CVC identify its higher purpose as “INFORM, INVOLVE AND INSPIRE” The next generation of civic engagement.They wanted everyone who walked through the doors to feel inspired to become more involved in their government.The CVC used its higher purpose in the way we discussed earlier. They centered all of their business activities….from how they recruited and trained their employees to how they set up operations…in order to inform, involve and inspire visitors. CAPITOL—INFORM/INVOLVE/INSPIREOn December 2, 2008, The Capitol Visitor Center opened its doors to the public. Before doing that, they hired hundreds of new employees in a matter of months using the INFORM, INVOLVE INSPIRE mantra to select and train the right type of employees, then they set their operations, processes and procedures to align with this purpose.NEWOpening ceremonies, December 2, 2008Since its opening less than 2 years ago, On August 6th, 2010, the Capitol Visitor Center celebrated INFORMING, INVOLVING and INSPIRING its 4 MILLIONth visitor! Let’s review a few key points: What was the linkage for the CVC? -- Inform Involve Inspire… Its execution created that emotional tie between employees and visitors for a branded experience.How have they benefited from using this approach?First, and perhaps most importantly, the Capitol Visitor Center has been accepted as its own organization. Based on the every-day politics and pressure, it’s actually pretty amazing that the organization has really established itself as an individual entity.Externally, the conversation in the media changed from cost over-runs and time delays excitement about the new visitor experience. Internally, the Inform Involve Inspire brand unified existing employees who were used to reporting to a different entity (the red coats and Capitol Police) and the new employees hired to work in the CVC. Finally, they’ve received four million visitors…think if just a fraction of those visitors were inspired enough to increase their level of civic engagement. That’s probably thousands more than would feel inspired had the CVC not focused on this particular higher purpose.NEW—4 Millionth Visitor!Now, since I used a number of private sector examples above, let’s take a look at another government agency I feel is truly linked.A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to be a part of the Marine Corps Business Executive Forum. And I have to tell you it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I got to attend a briefing in the Pentagon, ride on a helicopter (that’s me in the green after the ride of my life…), shoot an M-16, a pistol and a sniper rifle, watch a marshal arts training, attend a reception at the Commandants’ residence and attend the evening performance of the silent drill team at the Marine Corps barracks. To be honest, before that day, I never really had a chance to spend very much time with a Marine and most of my impressions of the Marines came from ads and news stories. Based on those external touches, I definitely had an expectation of what my day would hold.I have to tell you, I was so impressed because my entire 17-hour experience with the Marines reinforced every single positive impression I had with the Marines from their advertisements.Let me give you an example…This team acted with precision….there were no delays. We must’ve moved from spot-to-spot at least 12 times during the day, and at each stop, we arrived exactly according to schedule with a team of Marines waiting at each location to greet us. Think about that…what if we HAD been late, or if we had seen our welcome party hustling in as we pulled up in our bus. That wouldn’t reinforce the precision and preparedness the Marines showcase in their ads, would it? //Think back to that circle chart. The value of precision and high standards translated into different behaviors from the Marines in the Silent Drill team than from the Marines in Public Affairs, but the values were clearly consistent from one Marine to the next.///I was so curious about the strength of the LINK between Culture and Brand that I asked the Marines why they chose that particular branch of the service. Collectively, the answer was this: I was looking on the websites of all of the services. The Navy, the Army, the Airforce all talked about opportunity for travel and education. But the Marines talked about being the Tip of the Spear…being the top trained force that was always ready to go in first.Interesting, right? The Marines recruit people who WANT to put their lives at risk. They recruit people who want the hardest training. And let me tell you, these men and women LOVE to go to work! I’ve never met a group of people so loyal to each other and their organization than the Marines.Nancy HelicopterLet’s look at the signs that Marines are linked that translate into signs other organizations are linked. If any of you are familiar with the Jim Collins book, Good to Great, you may recognize some of these attributes.Nomenclature. The Marines are very disciplined about their vocabulary. They never use a pronoun when talking about another Marine…I never heard “he” or “she” when referencing a colleague. IT was always “That Marine over there…” They also are very careful about addressing their fellow Marines by their full rank. Marines feel very strongly that they have earned every stage of every rank, and this is a behavior that reinforces that. Other branches of the service don’t do this.Exclusivity/Elitism: This is an elite force. Just look at their tagline: The Few. The Proud. The Marines. The Marines are the smallest force in the different branches of the service and they like it that way. It’s not easy to be a Marine. And they don’t have recruiting problems. In fact, during the Vietnam War, they were the only branch of the service that didn’t participate in the draft.Training: Marines train for 10 months before they are considered ready to work. During this time, they truly transform. In fact, the saying goes “once a marine, always a Marine. I asked my new Marine friends what had made them into Marines. They couldn’t answer with a specific activity or training, and after a while I realized why. It was because it wasn’t SOMETHING that had turned them into Marines…it was EVERYTHING that had turned them into Marines. Think back to that circle graphic. Everything. In all of their contact with each piece and department of the organization…made them into marines.And as a result, Marines have an incredible loyalty to their fellow Marines and to the Corps. The motto Semper Fi—was adopted all the way back to 1883—means always faithful, and represents the lifelong brotherhood shared by Marines. This spirit shines through in every action these men and women take. Now, I want to make it clear that I’m not saying that YOUR agency needs to adopt the Marine’s culture. The Marines’ culture is right for the Marines, and the mission they’re trying to achieve. It wouldn’t work in your agency.What I AM saying is to pay attention to how well LINKED the Marines culture and brand are. Each Marine—those people who are delivering the brand through their behaviors and interactions with the public – are acting entirely consistently with the ads that you see out there for the Marines. The PROMISE that the brand delivers is consistent with the EXECUTION of the people in the organization.That’s what we’re talking about today. LINKING. Consistency internally and externally. That’s what builds a brand….when there’s a consistent customer experience that meets or exceeds stakeholder expectations. And that’s something you can work on, no matter what agency you work for.MarinesNomenclatureElitismTrainingLoyaltySpiritLet’s recap what we’ve talked about today:Today we’ve talked about the External Context and why we need to think differently (we how prevalent this new thinking is even in government through the USDA’s employee survey)We’ve discussed the importance of Linking Culture & Brand together (remember…it’s employees who deliver the brand promise to the world)We’ve shown how to make that LINK by identifying and using your Higher Purpose & Values.And We discussed execution of these principles through Committing, Aligning, Living….Measuring and Evolving. RECAP SLIDEThat’s a lot to remember, and I’m sure I’ve talked too quickly today. So let me leave you with TEN things you can walk away and do TODAY that will strengthen the LINK between your culture and your brand whether you’re at the agency level or the program level.Remind team of higher purposeThe next time you get together, kick off the meeting with your higher purpose and tell people why you’re committed to it.Use higher purpose to evaluate every-day decisionsThe next time you have a decision to make about a direction to take, or where to invest your money, weigh the options against your higher purpose. Which option would better support your purpose? The answer will probably become obvious.Revisit your valuesCheck in with your colleagues to see if they know the agency’s values, and if they’ve translated those values into behaviors. If they have stories of how they’ve seen these values come alive, capture them.Keep stories aliveStories are what create cultural norms in organizations. Be sure to circulate stories of branded behavior through newsletters, intranets and public recognition.Lead by exampleFind new and creative ways to show your commitment to the higher purpose and values. Then if people are asking you why you’re acting funny, tell them why.Pay attention to vernacularRemember, the words you use can reinforce your brand. For example, internally here we all refer to ourselves as Belmonsters. Our clients have adopted the term, and we judge interviewee’s on their Belmonster worthiness.Create exclusivityWhether this is agency-wide or at the program level, make it clear that it’s a priveledge to work for your team. Talk about how your team is different than other teams you work with and why. Create demand to get on your team.Train, train, trainRemember the Marines train for almost a year before they’re able to perform their duties…Consider using some of your training budgets to reconnect employees with the brand. Utilize fans to infect othersIf there are people within your team who are already superstars, encourage them to rave about their work internally and externally. Get them to be verbal about why they’re so excited to come to work on Monday.Encourage individual interpretationsRemember, you can’t dictate all behaviors. The creativity people show in executing on the Higher Purpose and Values is the most fun part of this whole journey. Let people bring a bit of themselves into the office. If they’re fully trained on and committed to the brand, they’ll be strengthening, not risking your agency’s reputation.TOP TENThat concludes my presentation. I’ll stick around to answer some questions, but if you would like to reach out after the presentation, feel free to contact me directly.My info.

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