Build a Corporate Culture The Social Media Way: Orchestrate It


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In a great follow-up to my last article about institutionalizing corporate culture, business owner Frank Hurtte asked,

“When I founded the company, I had a vision of what we would be. I have shared this vision with our staff. Can you toss in a few suggestions to move it from vision to culture?”

To answer this pivotal question about marketing a vision to their “inside customers”–their employees–so it becomes a great culture, let’s take a quick look at how businesses market to their “outside customers” in the social age.

(Keep in mind that the days of manipulating people to give you business are dead and buried. You can no longer “sell” to the quality people you’d want as long-term customers. Build a community around all of your customers, so buying your product or service helps them improve their lifestyle or prospects every time)

The best businesses no longer try to find customers for their products or services–including new services such as monetized blogs. No more “push” or “pull” marketing. They develop products or services that meet the needs of authentically engaged customers. These customers become members of a dynamic yet always demanding “tribe” they will keep supporting, as long as the vendor or service provider offers enough real or perceived value.

It works the same in business. Think of your staff or employees as musicians in a symphony orchestra. They need to be accomplished musicians to get their jobs, and be willing to participate in a new culture that’s unique to that orchestra.

The conductor’s primary role is not to “push” or “pull” them into following his lead. The best conductors genuinely appreciate the sometimes hidden talents and passions of each orchestra member, and creates a culture in which musicians will constantly interact and learn. If the conductor is a Leonard Bernstein, he creates a culture for his orchestra in which their willingness to grow and help each other grow is constantly being recognized. The orchestra’s success is built on preparation and teamwork, so each public performance becomes a celebration rather than an act of closure.

If the orchestra’s culture has been nurtured one member/musician at a time, each of them spends as much time supporting his or her fellow musicians as they do following the conductor. That frees the conductor to focus on the vision of each musical piece. They can lead the “celebration” that happens before a live audience or in a recording studio.

Now let’s get back to Frank’s question, and clearly differentiate modern business cultures from the industrial-age culture building that we saw in Wal-Mart’s cheer circle. Your vision of the company is comparable to what a conductor sees in the symphonic score, Frank. Find an effective way to build a culture in your company and attract the most skilled new employee/customers; just as a great orchestra can get its pick of the best musicians.

Make the process of growing and nurturing your unique culture a requirement and reward of working for you. Then you can stop trying to find employees who accept your processes and operational requirements. As CEO your job-one will become meeting the needs of your authentically engaged employees and staff members. Given the chance to be recognized for the right reasons, helping their fellow employee members will become as natural to them as helping fellow musicians is to members of the New York Philharmonic.

There’s one major difference between modern companies and a fine orchestra: unlike first-tier professional musicians, many employees won’t already be adequately trained professionals. But if you apply the right tools such as the four-step Marketing Mantra process, you can quickly help them acquire the skills they need as they bond in a new community, and become fully and productively engaged in your now shared vision.

Carey Giudici
Betterwords for Business
Carey has a unique, high-energy approach to help small business owners, entrepreneurs and in-transition professionals make their Brand and content achieve superior results in the social media. He calls it "Ka-Ching Coaching" because the bottom line is always . . . your bottom line. He has developed marketing and training material for a Fortune 5 international corporation, a large public utility, the Embassy of Japan, the University of Washington, and many small businesses and entrepreneurs.


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