Tuesday, March 3, 2009

CEO’s should protect their brand’s authenticity during challenging times

The highest wisdom is to know yourself,” ~~ Erasmus~~

Given the challenges of today’s economy, you are under siege to protect your business by cutting back your operating costs. Or you want to cut back so you can afford an innovation effort. All this might be true. However, be prepared to defend and protect the core competency of your company by remaining true to who your company really is. Protect and defend the soul of your business so the attributes that differentiate you remain intact when the storm is over and your business sky rockets again.

Authenticity is a much talked about word in business. Some believe it means to be an environmentally friendly company. Others believe you have to sell organic products. Webster defines authentic as, “that which can be believed or accepted, trustworthy or reliable.”

David Boyle, a noted British author, defines authenticity in a compelling way. “It's a new attitude that's discernable behind all this demand for authenticity - a new way of approaching business or culture or politics that's rooted in one that is tolerant of human failings. There is an emergence of people who are seeking real food, real culture, real politics, real schools, real community, real medicine, real culture and real stories. Are you keeping it real?

The best way to remain authentic to who you are, is to define and protect your organization’s core competency.

Core Competency is a deep proficiency that enables a company to deliver unique value to customers in a sustainable manner. Put your company under the litmus test of a Core Competency; a set of skills and assets that are hard for competitors to copy or procure. Understanding Core Competencies allows companies to invest in the strengths that differentiate them and set strategies that unify their entire organization.

Core Competency is something that a firm can do well: Here are three conditions:

  • Provides customer benefit
  • Not Easy for competitors to imitate
  • Can be leveraged enterprise-wide

When sales decline, you face job losses, key accounts evaporate and your profit margins are under siege, take time to find out who your company really is and what you are best at. Remain authentic to your heritage. It will become your guiding compass to weather this economic storm.

Airlift can help you find your authentic self. Call 312.492.7772 today or contact us via srosen@airliftideas.com. Sign up to receive this weekly at http://airliftbrandstorytelling.blogspot.com/

Sources: David Boyle. Authenticity, Brands, Fakes Spin and the lust for real Life, Gary Hamel, Strategos on Core Competency


Axel Schultze said...

Yes, and I think authenticity starts with the CEO. Here is an interesting and funny way to show some way of authenticity.


Great Blog Shelley

Airlift Brand Story Telling said...

Thanks for the coaching. This is as short as I can get.