The world is always changing. Trends shift and priorities over-take one another. New technologies and emerging markets present a continual opportunity. Social regulations change too. The things we are expected to think about and include in our plans are always evolving as we learn more about the diverse and dynamic flow of people in our lives. Organisations and institutions can find this a challenging environment. When people are in routines that work then asking them to adapt for the future can seem difficult. The same can be said for ourselves, do we change our ways because we should or because we must? Is there a difference between the two?
Tackling the future in an effective way takes a significant effort from all involved. Co-ordinating this into a focus that is effective can be a challenge. We have to consider several aspects of work and life in order to make the most of what we are doing. What are these aspects? We probably spend a lot of time thinking about one or two of these things, and if you’re like me, then we can stay awake all night trying to get our head around things. What we really need is a better framework, one that isn’t so unpredictable and hidden behind what-ifs and unknown factors.
The challenges that face institutions of all sizes are diverse. For any job provider, money is the priority. People work to get by in life and making a profit from our activity is going to be the first thing a business or organisation needs. Whatever service you are providing has to be competitive and valuable. Brand image is the other huge factor. How does the personality of the institution manifest in its activities? What do its products, symbols, and communications say about the brand, about the people who these things represent? After profit and persona, there are many other things that organisations need to consider.
Which way are we going? The direction of the team needs to be clear. Everyone needs to be aware of why the change is taking place and where it will take the organisation. A leading role will understand the necessity for change and will appreciate the work involved. They will have a clear vision of what the future will look like once the change is brought about. Feedback from the public is invaluable when determining how to change. We are providing a service to the public, their opinions, thoughts, and feelings all matter to how successful we can be. They don’t like you? Why not? What are you going to do about that? Sometimes we just need to explain what we are doing with more clarity, so no-one is mis-sold the product or sometimes we need to adapt what we do so people will want us more.
How do we bring about loyalty? We want the team members to feel involved and committed. We also want our customers to feel the same. A brand is more than a service for a price, it says something about the individual that uses it. We choose brands based not just on price but on our own personal tastes. Loyalty means that people want to remain a part of our brand, either by paying for it or working for it. If we can communicate our brand voice in a way that people identify with and feel affiliated to then they will want to remain a part of it. We have to understand this and cater to it regardless of our personal tastes. For example, I like heavy metal and I write about pop music and electronic music. I know there are metal fans out there I could reach out to but for Homunculus Media, the typical message of heavy metal would be counter-active to the general brand voice.
What you see is what you get, so how does it look? Presentation and product optimisation really matter. The whole aesthetic makes a world of difference to a product and its brand. You as a leader will have a definitive vision of how the service needs to be perceived and what has to change to get there. The communication of your brand and its message is paramount to driving sales and sign-ups. People who come into contact with your organisation will take your message at face value and it has to be clear, accurate, and attractive. This needs to be looked into and is bound by the trends of the day.
The network that works. Stay in touch with people in your field, even if they are competing with you. The people you know need to know you so be always on the lookout to promote and communicate what you do and why with the people you network with. Businesses and brands are always working with others in a variety of roles on paid and casual terms. By being indispensable to those who provide resources and by being value for money for those who pay you for services we can ensure strong and healthy networks that work. If we can develop our networks by providing growth and direction to those involved, we will find ourselves in a good position for the future.
So with direction, loyalty, delivery, and networks we can get hands and feet on the cliff then start to climb. We can’t expect these things to fall into place with a small effort, however with considerable time and energy spent on these four corners of the room, an institution can be built to last and to provide the desired results.