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Most organizations invest a great deal of time and money to hone and refine their brand message and mold the public's perception of their business. If this investment of time isn't matched through investment of time in communicating with your employees, vendors and strategic business partners, all your hard work can go for naught in just a few conversations.
As you think about your organization's carefully crafted messages and the everyday messages uttered by your employees, vendors and business partners, what is the REAL message being received out in the world?”
Having been in the hospital recently for day-surgery, I was impressed by the state-of-the-art equipment being used to capture my temperature, etc. When I remarked to the nurse that the thermometer device was only one step removed from the doctor's tri-corder on 'Star Trek,' her response sparked curiosity for me. She said, "Because our Surgery department is the hospital's highest profit center, we get pretty much anything we ask for when we need new equipment."
While this answer was fairly innocuous on the surface, it has caused me to think deeper about the messages, purposeful and inadvertant, that can impact the public's perceptions and their subsequent opinions about an organization's values, vision and mission. Here at inviteCHANGE, we've been involved in a months-long quest to revise our website language to convey our values of high quality, high touch service delivery as well as our passion for human and organizational wholeness. We've engaged in many conversations and brainstorming sessions to find the words, phrases and amount of information that's 'just right.' In other words, we're carefully crafting our message to the world in order to create connection with those who visit our website with the intention that the connection will lead us to a mutually rewarding business partnership.
However, how we speak about inviteCHANGE and the relationships we build and cultivate within it (e.g., in our faculty and staff meetings, partner meetings and to our program participants) influences how others, in turn, talk about us as they're out and about in the world. My nurse's response to my comment gave me the distinct impression that the hospital's main focus is on profits; I didn't get any impression that its patients, including me, were a priority - we're simply the means to profits. Is that the message the hospital REALLY wants to convey to the public, its patients, and its employees? I would guess not, yet that's what I'm left with from my experience there, despite the caring kindness of the nurses, my anesthesiologist and my surgeon.
As you think about your organization's carefully crafted messages and the everyday messages uttered by your employees, vendors and strategic business partners, what is the REAL message being received out in the world? Is that message aligned with the messages in your printed materials and on your website? Can your ideal customers clearly perceive your organization's values, vision and mission? What is necessary to align those messages for consistency and authenticity, which ultimately supports trust from your consumers?
At inviteCHANGE, we partner with you to ensure that your INTERNAL communications and relationships support your EXTERNAL ones. This is done through a variety of methods, including consulting, coaching services and customized communications and leadership training. Your people are your greatest asset, and our products and services enhance and expand employee engagement for clear communications on all levels. After all, perception is everything.
Food for thought for all of us; what are your thoughts?
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