Many businesses cut across diverse industries and functions, serve a complex web of customers types, and manage a mixed bag of employees, from outgoing sales people… to heads-down scientists, engineers and production people… to sharp, results-driven executives.
When all these divergent personalities are taken into consideration, it’s easy to give up on trying to define a single, meaningfully-focused ambition that can be used to drive the entire business forward.
It’s not easy, but it’s important to do.
Of course, it’s not an easy thing to do, but it is an increasingly important management strategy in today’s turbulent business environment. Intense competition, industry disruption and increased commoditization all suggest that “business as usual” isn’t a sustainable strategy, and that new approaches are needed now, more than ever.
For businesses to become stronger today, and better fit for the future, they need to reach out to people – their customers and employees – in ways that bond them more closely, engage them more completely, and prompt them to act willingly in your business’s interests.
Seek the way your business addresses universal human drives
The way to arrive at a single meaningful ambition is to eliminate the professional, geographic and demographic differences between the people you serve and employ, and to focus on their common needs, drives and aspirations as human beings. Ask yourself, how does the “what” of our business – and the “how” we work – improve the lives of individuals, the society and/or the planet? Turn these “meaningful truths” about your business into a single idea that drives your business’s brand going forward.
Making it happen
Use this idea as a “North Star” for everyone in your company; help your people see how they can change personally, and how they can alter what they do at work, to help realize the business’s meaningful ambition. But don’t just publish your meaningful ambition. Actively use it to transform the behavior within every interaction your business has with both customers and employees.
Leveraging the emotional kick
A concise statement of meaningful intent will be loaded with ideas that, by their very nature, will evoke specific emotions. Draw out the emotions that are most powerful, and recognize this as the rich territory of your business’s differentiating emotional aura.
Think of ways to increase these feelings at every “moment of truth”. Why? Because when your business emotionally influences people in the course of doing business, their decision making and behavior aligns more immediately to your business’s interests.
Yes, your business is complex… but with an emotionally meaningful ambition, new levels of clarity, motivation and beneficial behavior can be achieved through a brand strategy built upon empathy, purpose and emotion.