Whether you like it or not, your company has a brand and it has values – the choice lies in how you approach them. Ignore these realities and you will end up with whatever chance happens to give you, but if you face the challenges, of consciously establishing a brand and values, your organization will be prepared to thrive.
This is what a brand and team values proposition workshop is meant for: establishing the brand and getting the whole team on board for a shared vision and set of values.
Brand is not just an ad campaign and a company logo – it’s what drives the entire direction of the company and keeps it heading in a meaningful direction. But what does this mean and how do you establish a brand worthy of your business? You just ask, “why?”
Establishing brand means finding out why, or the underlying purpose that inspires your business. This purpose isn’t about ROIs or KPIs, something to be found on a spreadsheet, rather it’s the motivating principle that goes above and beyond profit.
It isn’t as complicated as it might sound, this purpose could be as simple as perfecting a craft or doing some good in the world by spreading cheer. Whatever it is, make sure expresses the individuality and unique quality of your business at your brand workshop.
Since branding is more than what you put in your ads, you have to look to the very core of your organizations – it’s daily actions. As I can often be heard saying, “purpose inspires, habits define, and values guide.”
Values are the roadmap that your team uses to achieve the brand’s purpose. Just like a brand, your team has values – even if they don’t know it. Values are established from the first moment your team has to solve a problem or overcome any challenge.
The way a team faces up to challenges to achieve goals are the values. If that means giving in to toxic egos and doing work that is only barely passable, then those are the values. Of course no one wants that, this is why it is vital that you establish values consciously and understand what they mean concretely during your workshop.
Once your organization’s leadership has developed a vision for its brand and values you need to makes sure the whole team is on the same page. It can’t just be some posters on the wall!
Whenever some new initiative is started people are naturally reticent to jump on board – so it’s important that you pay attention to the delivery of the workshop. Don’t let the workshop end up feeling like a seminar on new things your team has to do, instead engage them at the level of their deeply held values and desires.
Here are some essential activities to get started with your workshop.
This activity could be done before the workshop begins and sent along with the invite. When you receive the values that people hold look for the patterns that emerge and be sure to communicate how close everyone is aligned to the culture proposal.
Too often teams are divided into cliques and little niches and may form their own way of doing and seeing things. Break this up at the workshop – facilitate the connection of random team members with one another. Have these team members share their aspirations, values, and something personal they’re working on. Remind them to focus on what they share and hold in common.
When focus is given to working on correcting weaknesses it’s inherently demotivating. The workshop would signal bad times ahead to your team if you approach it in this way – this is why the focus should be on leveraging strengths. During the workshop explain what the team is great at and instead of mentioning where they fall short express a strategy for how they can further expand upon their strengths.
While team strengths are great to hear, people are motivated most by learning about their own strengths and positive attributes.
For this activity, give a large index card for each team member and have them write their name on it. Next, have them pile and shuffle the cards and then each person take one. Everyone is to then write strengths, positive attributes, or a story about the person, on the card, at their best. Once everyone has written about everyone else, return the card to its owner – now filled with a reflection of their best self.
It may seem simple, but it has a powerful effect on everyone’s mood and sense of belonging.