Remarkable concepts in internal branding
Original content: https://brunch.co.kr/@1slide1message/124
Author: Jihun Choi
(Translated by Jiyu Han)
I would like to pick three keywords: autonomy, commitment and expertise, if there are noteworthy concepts with team members in the internal branding process for a mature organization.
First of all, ‘autonomy’ means that we can decide on our own within the promised rules of the game, not just do whatever we want.
Autonomy presupposes self-control. We can get the autonomy as a gift when there is trust that we are not getting off the track in organization even if we act and decide according to our own rules. Autonomy is therefore a gift givens as a result of trust, not what you can get from the beginning.
Commitment is expected, once individual who has get this autonomy plays a role in an organization.
If someone acts if necessary but does not think about what to do next, it’s obedience. Obedience cannot be a commitment no matter how faithful, positive or how well you follow the rules. Surprisingly, commitment is an attitude of trying to find a way to change the rules not just moving according to the rules, if the rule interrupts to achieve the vision.
In this sense ‘having expertise’ can be seen as a process of increasing the scope of one’s own choices and adjustments. Building knowledge and skill base on autonomy and commitment and solving problems are usually called ‘professionality’.
And also expertise has a close relationship with ‘freedom’ beyond the concept of ‘good at problem-solving’.
Let’s say the car suddenly broke down while driving on the highway. A person who lacks knowledge and experience in the technical part of the car, who only knows how to refuel or inject engine oil, has only one answer to one situation. In unexpected situation outside of their scenario that your existing answer is useless, it’s hard to figure out alternatives, even he or she want to find another answer.
On the other hand, mechanic with expertise in cars have a variety of alternatives. He or she thinks and judges the best alternative among various options and puts it into action. If freedom is ‘a state in which one can think, judge and act on his/her own’, this principle also applies to professionalism.
In other words, without expertise we cannot have enough freedom. This is because there is a limited number of thoughts and actions that you can choose in certain situations and environments. If we can choose one in wider alternative, we will be able to think and act more broadly. That is the scope of freedom will be extended more and more.
Consistency and Repeatability
Autonomy, commitment, and expertise. These three keywords must operate within an organization with ‘consistency’ and ‘repeatability’.
These scenes must be constantly identified and shared: What can we decide and choose by ourselves following the rules, When and how can we coordinate and change our role to achieve the organization’s vision? How do we solve the problem by accumulating knowledge and experience within in organization?
Performance review, promotion and compensation, training and development, and various system and processes are just tools to help members to carry out: autonomy, commitment, and expertise. It is a pillar that supports those three firmly. In other words, it is the various systems and systems that need to be set up within the organization that help autonomy, commitment and expertise operate consistently and repeatedly within the organization.
Even with excellent ideas, strategies, and implementation, the decisive reason why branding fails is because “consistency is broken.”. When an organization shares the concept of autonomy, commitment and expertise with its members and constantly pushes ahead with their promises and the way they work with consistency and repeatability, it naturally creates an identity of themselves.
What will happen to the organization that has created their identity?
First, the leader disappears, or more precisely, everyone plays the role of a leader, the concept of the workplace shifts from a place where they make money to a place where they aim for values and complete their lives. And the relationship between people shifts from economic exchanges to psychological exchanges.
Organizations that have reached this stage can only talk about ‘community’. This is because the community aims to pursue ‘neighborhood’ rather than profit-seeking and they understand the business itself as ‘an act of value-seeking’.
So, the ‘team’ cab be defined slightly different as ‘groups that need each other to act in accordance with their values’ beyond the definition of ‘a group that aims for a common goal and produces results’.
Did you start internal branding just to create a good organizational culture? I like it. Most start like that. However, I hope our concerns do not stop at the organizational culture of talking about relationships with members of the organization.
We must move beyond the organization to the question of what values and lifestyles can be presented to society. For a better life than now, our community should seek its own answers, considering what topics it can throw to people and what kind of life it can present.
Maybe the old definition of branding as ‘relationship’ actually had this direction of thinking?