An oft used word in today’s corporate world with limited or practically no delivery in terms of action. This could sound like a pretty strong judgemental statement. It probably is. It’s based on a decade long experience across industries, professional dealings and employee-company relationship. Out in my part of the woods, the experiential learning seems to lean towards the above (so far. And I’m still looking out to be proved wrong!)
Whilst developing a ‘brand identity’, the marketing team, the consultants, advisors et all use this particular word quite often. Finally, it goes into the documentation and at times also into the processes developed. But that’s where the DROP occurs! When it comes to putting the process to practice ie having free flowing two-way information between the employee and his/her superior, between the senior management and the mid, and junior management levels, somewhere some of the ‘information’ is “not communicated” in its full form. Resulting in assumptions, presumptions, and individual interpretations and finally producing a ‘pot-pouri’ where the brand experience is concerned.
So the question is, can such DROP’s be avoided or a back-up plan developed in case it does occur (during a strategic plan implementation stage)? YES, it can be avoided.
The way to do this is:
1. Role clarity: Right from the start of any project/activity, the team leader should ensure that each individual of the team involved understands his/her role in terms of how the communication would flow, who is responsible for what, and the timelines of the same.
2. Reviews: in the implementation process, productive reviews should be factored in. Productive reviews are team meetings which are aimed at bringing up to date the team members on each specific area of the project as well as each team member using that review session to clarify queries, flag issues and agree to the next deliverable.
Transparency can’t be simply spoken about. As a work cultural value it needs to be demonstrated or shown. And the best way to show is by practicing it.
If an organisation, in its daily operations, follows the above two steps of basic project management, they will automatically be creating a ‘transparent culture’ ie a culture where failure is not penalised as the occurrence of failure will be diminished due to the teams having role clarity and frequently meeting and clarifying all issues.
This in turn would form part of the ‘brand experience’ that the employees in turn will make the stakeholders experience. Simply put, the employees would behave (with the stakeholders) exactly as they do in their interactions internally as it would be a habit for them. As a result, the stakeholders would be getting full information on their brand through their interactions and this would enable them to trust the brand more and more thereby leading to becoming the external brand champions.