Strategies for addressing the energy of your business in good times and bad:
We came across this interesting insight by John P. Kotter in his post entitled “To Create Healthy Urgency, Focus on a Big Opportunity” on the Harvard Business Review blog.
“There are two basic kinds of energy in organizations.
- Energy triggered by a big opportunity, can create momentum in the right direction and sustain it over time.
- Energy based on fear or anxiety, might overcome complacency for a time, but it does not build any momentum or maintain it. Instead it can create a panic, with all the obvious negative consequences — stressing people out and eventually draining an organization of the very energy leaders wanted to generate.”
Many of our clients are burdened by problems and issues that are holding their business and brand back. Declining sales, unclear vision, an under performing workforce, lack of differentiation in the marketplace, the list goes on and on.
In other words, they come to us with a bundle of negative energy.
Fortunately, we are a very resilient and forward-thinking agency that prefers to focus on the opportunities those many issues present. Through our work, we help our clients address the human factor that underlies all their known business issues: the fact that the employees and customers involved don’t now care enough about the brand to help it resolve its issues.
To get people to care, we work to shift the brand’s energy from a negative or neutral setting to one that’s positive, engaging, and meaningful. We then use that positive energy in ways that change the way people think, feel, and act with respect to the brand. As such, they come to care enough to do things required for the brand to resolve its issues and problems. Even better, this positive energy opens up new opportunities for the brand as people who are more engaged and gratified become motivated help the brand in new ways.
We start by helping clients to see all that’s good about their business – despite their myriad problems. We then take the truths we discern and transform them into a highly opportunistic promise. For our clients, this promise becomes a “big opportunity” with which they can rise above their issues, be more empowered to deal with their problems, and “create momentum in the right direction and sustain it over time”.
We change the energy force in businesses by directly countering the negative energy that is based on anxiety, which often causes organizational panic, stress, and disengagement. We generate new positive energy by using the principles and practices of emotive branding to create a positive and generative force within business.
Empathy, purpose, and emotion are the principles that drive our brand strategies.
- Empathy helps us see what truly matters about your brand by viewing it through the eyes of your customers and employees.
- Purpose, articulated by a promise and addressing ideals beyond profit, helps us provide a “noble pursuit” for your brand and your people.
- Emotion, through a sensitivity to emotion’s role in decision making, loyalty building, and behavior change, we inject feelings into your brand’s rational story and create an emotional aura around your brand that makes it “stickier”.
Behavior is perhaps the practice that most distinguishes our approach.
We show brands how to shift the prevailing attitudes and behaviors that are now generating negative or neutral energy towards new ways of being that are generative in nature and full of positive potential. By encouraging your people to be more empathetic, purposeful, and emotional in their dealings among themselves and with the outside world, we create a sustainable path to meaningful change.
So ask yourself, “What is our brand’s energy right now?” And remember, when asking this question, don’t only think from your own perspective or that of the leadership team; assess the situation from the points of view of people up and down and across and around your organization.
If the answer is negative or neutral, it’s time to rise above what’s holding your brand back and seize the opportunities presented through empathy, purpose, and emotion.
What differences will you see? Consider these final quotes from Mr. Kotter’s post:
“When a person has a true sense of urgency, sparked by a significant opportunity, they are moved by that thought and feeling literally every day. In addition to doing their daily jobs, they proactively look for where they might be able to take action that moves them toward the opportunity. In a faster and faster moving world, this dynamic is invaluable.
“In contrast, when a person is motivated by anxiety-driven false urgency, they may be exceptionally active — conducting many meetings, generating reports and PowerPoints, and burning up lots of hours. But that is activity, not productivity, and it also tends to be activity that is self-protective not organizationally important. It is basically running in circles with great energy.”
To learn more about our approach to brand strategy, download our white paper.
Emotive Brand is a San Francisco brand strategy firm.