Team Brief

June 23, 2002

in Brand Futures

Another positing from the online converation with Terrence L. Gargiulo and Making Stories A Practical Guide for Organizational Leaders and Human Resource Specialists.

I think there is a great match between the two posts above and every marketers dream — “the idea virus” — Great ideas, like great stories are infectious. I’m not sure how easy they are to plant…… consciously. I think it is more insight that stimulates sharing… as they emerge it is better to nurture.
Sweatshops in Asia and Nike reflect a new generation of stories and concerns. However, if we look into our schools we see our children learning about the environment, sustainability, etc from an early age. Effective story-nurturing in organizations requires open rather than closed systems. Ie bring in the customers, suppliers, other stakeholders and then shake them all up.

Similarly, youth’s interaction with chat, instant messaging (europe / japan) on phones create a new transparency and immediacy to their stories. Music, TV show’s etc. What’s “cool” – is part of the story telling ethic. Thus perhaps the org lesson is a requirement for more visual, more role-playing, more interactive and collaborative sessions. I’m still to see many organizations embrace new systems (like chat) or redesign environments to more effectively nurture corporate stories. Sometimes a simple change – I joined a coffee company. The head office was sterile, their reception area lacked any coffee paraphanellia. In the first week I installed a full expresso bar, and retrained the receptionists. Within two weeks no guest entered into our environment without the hospitality or conversations related to coffee.

In another organization — a chicken processor. When a bird fell off the chain it was not always handled with care, hygiene, etc… It may have ended up on your plate. By changing the focus from processing to “creating great meals” we brought the experience and delight in the product to life. Plant management also improved.

In organizations I’ve found the most effective “plant method” is one that nurtures. The “Team Brief” supports by providing (typically monthly) the opportunity to begin a top – roll-out message to everyone in co within 24 hours. Organised around four areas, Performance, Plans, People & Policy, it is easily supplemented with stories, recognition, memorability. Feedback and questions are collected.

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