The common belief is that the more you focus, the less flexible you become. The usual mental image of focus is the horse wearing blinders, focused on the road ahead of him.
The irony is that the more focused you are, the more flexible you become. However, you must focus on the right thing for this to be true.Read more
One of my favorite things to do when I go into the city is to visit Di Bruno Bros. I can’t count the number of times that I walked past their door without going in. Something would draw me to their door, I would peek through the window and I would see what I thought was a tiny center city Philadelphia grocery store. And then I would keep walking. After all, I took the train in and didn’t have a cooler. How was I going to take fresh foods home with me?Read more
Do you also like to listen to business information? Karen Jett, RedKnight’s Internal Brand Specialist, was interviewed by Kirsten Balzer-Miniscalco of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford on the Legally Speaking show.
During the radio show, Kirsten and Karen chat about the importance of a company developing and using a brand definition. The brand is made up of 4 elements: the vision, mission, values, and company belief systems (referred to as operating guidelines during the interview).Read more
According to Edgar H. Schein in his book Humble Inquiry culture has two levels: espoused values and tacit assumptions. Before we talk about them, let’s define what he means. The espoused values are the values that we list in our corporate values. These are things like trust and team building.
Tacit assumptions, however, are deeper; so deep, in fact, that we rarely talk about them or even think about them. At one time, tacit assumptions may have been values. Then, over time, they became so taken for granted, that we stopped talking about them. This doesn’t mean that they went away, merely that they became semi-invisible. By this I mean that we live by them and believe in them at a deep level. However, we are not consciously aware that we are doing so.
Unfortunately, because they are at an unconscious level, our tacit assumptions frequently cause problems for us. These issues frequently manifest as difficulties following our espoused core values.Read more
When I assist companies to identify their company values, one of the most popular choices is “Do what it takes.” Unfortunately, this value is dysfunctional as it encourages people to do whatever it takes to succeed – and for many, this means crossing the line into approaches that are iffy at best and illegal at worst.Read more
“The Starbucks culture is singular. I haven’t experienced it anywhere else. What’s happening is a slow extinction of that culture.”
Once again, Starbucks is at a crossroads. In the early to mid 2000’s Starbucks concentrated all of its energy on expansion. During this period, the company culture and internal branding was virtually ignored. The result: Sales were down, market share was decreasing, and Howard Schultz decided it was time to return as CEO.
Mr. Schultz’s turnaround strategy was simple: return to basics.Read more
When we work with companies to assist them to identify their core business values, we explain that simply identifying and documenting their values is not enough. Unfortunately, a single word, short phrase, or even a single sentence is not usually adequate to fully explain what is meant by a core value. That is because many words can be a bit ambiguous and may be interpreted by different individuals to mean different things resulting in inconsistencies in internal behavior.Read more
Here’s the thought that popped into my head earlier today: In a values based organization, is it ever acceptable for employees to provide quality that is just good enough?
To find our answer let’s compare Leslie and Angie.Read more
Mary and Tom brought in a pile of sand and dumped it in their back yard for their daughter Jan to play in. By the end of the summer, how much sand do you think was left? If you said not very much, you are correct.
On the same day, their neighbors Joan and Bob brought in the same amount of sand and placed it into their son’s sand box. They taught Bobby that sand belongs in the sand box and encouraged him to play as much as he liked, and to return any piles of sand that accidentally landed outside the sand box back in. By the end of the summer, how much sand do you think Bobby had left? If you said more than Jan, you are again correct.
What does any of this have to do with small business? That is a good question.Read more
I’ve been talking about branding for years now. And it seems that all too frequently I am asked about graphic design and marketing plans. And while RedKnight provides both of these services, I personally do not excel in them. Therefore, when Gummi provided me with the phrase Internal Branding last week, I was thrilled.
As I mulled over the phrase, I knew that it was perfect. It describes exactly my passion for assisting companies to identify their brand, or what the companies’ personality is. (Yes, I like to refer to companies as a living being, not as an ‘it’.) Internal branding also incorporates the services RedKnight Consulting provides that reinforce the internal brand or personality of the business: the six part empowerment series, staff retreats, culture building, and ethics training.
In fact, internal branding is so important that companies like Starbucks, Walmart, Zappos, Southwest Airlines and IBM spend a lot of time and money to get it right. They understand that internal branding provides them with business clarity and creates focused flexibility.Read more