a hope design

Looking on the Inside

In Marketing/PR Theory on May 30, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I think The Architects could be extraordinary. I do. However, I do not think they are extraordinary now. There are changes needed.

The first step I would take to making these changes would be to figure out exactly what changes need to be made. You can’t fix the problem until you are clear on what the problem is. Sometimes it is not obvious. I do believe this is what is called the “research” step in strategic public relations.

Employees are key in a successful business, so that is where I would start. You can’t just “clean the outside of the cup.” Start on the inside. (This is theoretical, assuming the Principals are on board and have given free reign to do whatever it takes to make things head in the right direction toward extraordinary. Fantasyland, I know, just bear with me.) I believe the textbooks would call that internal public relations. Employees are a “public” to which a company has a responsibility to communicate on a regular basis. This seems like a no-brainer, but it is surprising the number of employers I’ve worked for who let assumptions run wild. It’s as if employees have to be mind readers. That is the perfect way to make employees spend each day on edge and unproductive.

Employers want engaged, loyal, productive employees. They should want employees who are all of these things of their own free will. How does an employer keep employees engaged, loyal and productive without cracking the whip and forcing them to be productive? Respect them. Treat them humanly and give them respect. What is respect to an employee? I don’t know. You must ask to find out because each person’s definition will likely be different.

When you start asking employees to speak up about what would make them feel respected in the workplace, you might find out some things about how the company is viewed by its “guts,” those who make it work from the inside. Finding out what people really think of you can be painful. Being honest is painful to some extent. One has to be honest with oneself to be extraordinary, to achieve greatness. There is not a single person, or company, on this planet who has reached perfection. Not one. Zip. Nada. You know what that means, right? It means you have issues. I have issues. We all have room for improvement. Get over it. Live each day trying to be perfect, the very best, but get over the fact that you are not. Get over the fact that no one else is either. Do not judge those around you by an ideal that even you cannot reach. Just don’t settle for where you are today. Keep striving for that perfection.

I think The Architects need to ” ‘fess up” to not being perfect and start taking steps toward improvement. Admitting to faults does not destroy a company’s appearance to the public. Ignoring the faults, however, just might. Thinking you have reached the top leaves you nowhere else to go. Greatness involves continually striving to be better. There is no shame in admitting the need for improvement.

So go ahead! Take that first honest look and start improving.

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