Isn't it funny, how ideas spread? I heard recently about how sheep in Yorkshire have learned to cross cattle grids by rolling over them. They have been confronted with this challenge for at least a hundred years and have only just figured it out. Yet the truly amazing thing is that sheep in Australia made the same advance at the same time! Do you suppose they emailed one another?
I experienced something of this phenomenon myself this past week. On the 15th June I wrote a blog entitled "Who do you really work for?" In it I argued that we all ultimately work for ourselves and need to recognise that and do more for our "personal brand." Well, this week I read an article in the Gallup Management Journal entitled, "It's Time to Brand Yourself." It talked about the need to develop "a clear brand strategy.. to make sure you are portraying yourself in a way that achieves your objectives."
Some of the points that stood out for me were:
- The 3 key components are your purpose, your point of view, and your principles and they are about more than just your job.
- Great brands are demonstrated, not told. You need a sense of control and a way to ensure that your employer is seeing the unique value of what you bring to your work.
- It boils down to sustainable differentiation.
- You must think of yourself as an "embedded entrepreneur"; you work within the firm for the good of that firm, but equally you seek personal benefit now and into the future.
- You might need to shift your mindset to understand this correctly.
- You must be confident that your brand is not only true to you, but that it's also relevant to your boss - and that it makes sense to your company's culture.
- Once you know your talents, you need to know your consumer's talents.
Fascinating stuff! But all employee centred. What is missing is the mirror image, for employment is a double-sided coin: for every employee there has to be an employer, and thus these arguments apply just as strongly in reverse. Yet there is no suggestion of that.
An employer wanting engaged employees, should be looking at creating an environment that embeds entrepreneurship. Yet I have seen nothing that come close to matching my solution to engender employee engagement and such embedded entrepreneurship. The employee centric "embedded entrepreneurship" they are writing about is the "intrepreneurship" that I promote, and is best created through employee ownership, which my Zealise solution provides.