Thursday, 9 April 2009

Spreading Your Company Culture

I’m a firm believer in the importance of brand personality being a key ingredient in any business or individual’s success. By ‘brand personality’, I mean the bit in your offering or your values that marks you out from the crowd. As many have commented before, we live in an abundant marketplace with so many companies offering similar products and services. That’s true for most of my clients so the challenge is identifying, communicating and living that point of difference. For many, the company culture is what sets organisations apart; the spirit that unites its people, where the brand equity is not just in a mission statement, but it runs through all the staff as part of their DNA.

So I was interested to read about a ‘life swap’ concept in the FT where the ad agency Iris was encouraging executives to swap not just roles but also apartments and cities between London and New York. I’ve always been a fan of role swaps because it helps people understand each other’s roles, it aids communication and makes the organisational culture stronger. But this swap goes one stage further; its reason is about spreading culture from one office to another:

Ian Millner, chief executive of Iris, says there are a number of reasons the agency likes to “life-swap” rather than merely job-swap its employees. “Most ad agencies are pretty similar – the only real difference is culture,” he says. “It’s our competitive advantage and it’s very important. So initiatives like the life swap are very powerful tools in making our culture consistent around the world.” [Financial Times, April 6, 2009]

What a great way for spreading and instilling company culture…

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