Just thinking about an internal branding programme that Fusionbrand did at the end of 2017.
One of the hardest parts of the project was getting the C level execs to buy into the fact that without their support and especially the buy in of the CEO, it would never gain traction. (Side note, it was a GLC and smoking is banned anywhere in government offices but the CEO smoked).
The C level executives just wanted a series of messages to be created and then those messages were to be broadcast across the organisation. We explained that this would never work. Mainly because the concept of creating and broadcasting a series of words, no matter how well crafted they are, simply doesn’t work any more.
But also because we needed to be setting examples, not telling people how to behave. Back to the simple example of the smoking CEO. If an employee is told not to smoke on the premises but the CEO smokes in his office and the smell wafts its way down the corridor, teasing all those that smoke and potentially killing all those who don’t, why should the employee pay attention to the no smoking signs? And how can the no smoking policy be enforced if the CEO smokes?
Besides, we as consumers have been let down so often by corporate promises that are compromised by reality that we tune out of messaging anyway.
One of the goals of any internal branding project is to bring the employer and the employee closer together. The CEO needs to lead by example in every aspect of his daily routine. And that begins with obeying the rules.