This past year was a great year of learning for me! Transitioning out of the big corporate world into my own business consulting has given me the opportunity to adjust my “point of reference” and to see the world from yet another very valuable perspective!
In addition to this monster change, I was also able to either consult or serve in a board role in two not-for-profit organizations, a landscape company, a drywall company, a home renovation company, an equipment sales company, and a start-up engineering company. In the middle of all this, I started a Mastermind Group of senior level business leaders.
It was definitely a year full of change, learning, and growth!
And, as I have in done previous years, this post shares my biggest lessons learned over the past year.
What I Learned in 2017
The most important things I learned in 2017 are:
A few weeks ago I introduced a tool called the Business Compass. This tool provides the means of visually communicating your organization’s vision, mission, values, brand promise, leadership behaviors and strategic and operational priorities. I have previously blogged about vision, mission, values and strategic and operational priorities but what about Brand Promise?
Brand Promise is simply what the company promises to the people who interact with it. Companies that are able to follow through on their brand promise, create real brand value with their customers. This brand value can be measured in a number of different ways (see the Forbes article “Worlds Most Valuable Brands – Behind the Numbers” for one example) but essentially it comes down to how well known and respected the organization is and how much revenue this notoriety brings in. Forbes also rates the Valuable Brands with Apple, Microsoft and Coca-Cola right at the top of the list for last year.
The important thing to remember is that a brand isn’t what you say it is unless your corporate actions, services and products align with the brand promise. The litmus test for this is to ask your customers. They are the ultimate judge for a brand. Ask your customers what your organization means to them and you will get a excellent picture of what your brand is outside the walls of your organization.