Category Design Case Study VII: Your Personal STORY.

The last category design case study is about ourselves – the story we tell to others about our particular genius, the promise we make for others to say “YES!”

The right people want you (to work with them, for them). The right people want to follow your leadership. Make them the promise they need (and, of course, keep it.)

Here are the other case studies: Intro – case I: TRUST – case II: FLOW – case III: SCALE – case IV: TRANSPARENCY – case V: CULTURE – case VI: AGENCY.

Here is the case study VII PDF version.

The enduring challenges: (what is…)

  • Ego: Execs tend to think they have nothing to learn. Training is for “staff.”
  • Narrative: The organization doesn’t know what else I can do. I am more than my job title. “Self-evident: evident to oneself and no-one else.” – Ambrose Bierce. 

The point of view (what if…)

  • Let’s challenge Execs to think about how they can improve their leadership.
  • Let’s help colleagues know each other better, and leverage that insight to unlock value inside teams and organizations.
  • Let’s enable colleagues to manifest their genius. All brands are perfect, if they tell the right story to the right cohort.

The Sell-ution (what wows…)

The C-suite off-site teambuilding had a spokesperson training session, and we wanted to surprise them with an immersive experience of their personal brand: as reflected online, internally, within their team, and individually. To create breakthrough, we reflected how they saw themselves vs. how others saw them. Incongruence or gaps gives us pause for thought – can we tell about a different or better story of who we are, how we show up, what we can offer? If you cannot get any better as a leader(!), probably you can better at showcasing your genius!

Outputs were mocked up: magazine covers, journalistic reviews of their media training and presence, blooper reels, and a BrandBoard highlighting social archetypes to encourage a person-to-person conversation about leadership development. The BrandBoard process also showed how leaders played different roles on a team depending on function, seniority etc. Its success in unlocking conversation and narrative hooks lead us to consider rolling it out across the organization.

The Mobilization (what works…)

Firstly, we ran open sessions in offices – attracting a generally younger crowd who wanted to get ahead and tell a better story. It was quickly clear that the BrandBoard process was applicable for individuals as a part of their career development. Next, we ran team sessions, up to 50 people. The conversation was about how to unlock latent value in individuals and teams.

Soon, we had enough macro data to build a brand profile of the whole organization, which allowed individuals to map themselves to the company brand; and to tell better stories accordingly about their skillset and service offering. For example, if the company ‘spirit animal’ was an ox, hardworking and dependable, someone with a creative, thinking brand could develop a differentiation narrative as an internal sales tool – this is how I can help.

We ran sessions across the world, at leadership training events, teambuilding and strategy summits. As well as a tool for the individual to articulate value, the Communications team was able to leverage the data to best support leaders in their marketing communications work, aligning the words and concepts to ensure brand congruence. In a world increasingly demanding brand and leadership authenticity, the BrandBoard helped brand owners deliver.

The BrandBoard process has also been leveraged successfully with career change professionals and those going through a redundancy process; as well as students as part of their career profiling.

Dis!Organize resources: What’s in a name? – get rid of titles self-evident.

This Much We Know.

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