THETHE EXPRESSIVE EXPRESSIVE ORGANISATION ORGANISATION BEYOND BEYOND IDENTITY IDENTITY
Hans P Brandt, Hans P Brandt, Managing Managing Director,Director, Total Identity Total Identity BarbaraBarbara Brian, Senior Brian,Advisor, Senior Advisor, Total Identity Total Identity Peter Verburgt, Peter Verburgt, Senior Advisor, Senior Advisor, Total Identity Total Identity Jeroen Duijvestijn, Jeroen Duijvestijn, former advisor former advisor to the Society to the Society and Enterprise and Enterprise Foundation Foundation
From Branding From Branding to Identity to Identity Thinking Thinking IdentityIdentity is not aniseasy not an concept easy concept to grasp.toIdentity grasp. Identity is the is the accepted accepted distance distance to the ideal to the (the ideal collective (the collective desire desire In recent In recent years, years, branding branding has played has played a dominant a dominant role in role the in the that is often that is unattainable). often unattainable). Identity Identity is the ambition is the ambition thinking thinking about the about relationship the relationship between between a company a company and itsand its that canthat be attained can be attained becausebecause it can beitmade can be concrete, made concrete, environment. environment. Whether Whether the focus the has focus been hason been the on way theinway in managedmanaged and verified. and verified. AmbitionAmbition that is thinkable that is thinkable from from which which a company a company visuallyvisually presents presents itself, how itself,it how motivates it motivatesan ethical an perspective. ethical perspective. By keeping By keeping the attainable, the attainable, the the thinkable—and thinkable—and thus reality—in thus reality—in sight, organisations sight, organisations can can its employees, its employees, or howoranhow organisation an organisation communicates communicates with with act fromact thefrom vantage the vantage point of point their of identity. their identity. the world the around world around it, branding it, branding has been hasused beentoused show towhat show what was special was special about aabout company, a company, with a with viewatoview winning to winning The necessity The necessity to act from to act a place from of a place identity of identity has has appreciation appreciation from those from around those around it. it. stemmed stemmed from political from political and social anddevelopments. social developments. History History shows, in shows, a predictable in a predictable pattern,pattern, how political/social how political/social
This is This nowischanging. now changing. Increasingly, Increasingly, branding branding is giving is giving way toway to tendencies tendencies influence influence the world theofworld business of business and howand how business business then adapts then its adapts marketing its marketing and communications and communications effortsefforts focused focused on defining, on defining, cultivating cultivating and expressing and expressing the the to address to address these tendencies. these tendencies. personality personality of organisations. of organisations. The management The management of perception of perception is giving is giving way toway providing to providing insightinsight into the into ambitions the ambitions of the of theStairwayStairway to Heaven: to Heaven: the 1960s the 1960s organisation organisation itself. The itself. time Thewhen time organisations when organisations could hide could hideThe 1960s Theheralded 1960s heralded a periodaofperiod freedom of freedom following following the the post-war post-war years of years reflection of reflection and rebuilding. and rebuilding. People People behindbehind their brand their name brand is name nowisgone nowfor gone good. for good. started started to look to tothe lookfuture. to the Individualism future. Individualism reigned reigned
Communication, Communication, behaviour behaviour and symbols and symbols are taking are taking on newon new supreme.supreme. It was aIttime waswhen a time the when pill loosed the pillthe loosed shackles the shackles of traditional of traditional religiousreligious and social andmores. social We mores. wanted We wanted to to significance significance on the on basis theof basis identity. of identity. The focus The has focus shifted has shifted to to make our make ownour choices, own choices, live our live ownour lives. own Technological lives. Technological emotion, emotion, to identification, to identification, insteadinstead of making of making an impression; an impression; innovations innovations encouraged encouraged this outlook: this outlook: with thewith arrival theof arrival of to commitment to commitment insteadinstead of profiling; of profiling; to developing to developing a a colour television colour television and the and landing the landing on the moon, on theour moon, worlds our worlds relationship relationship insteadinstead of giving of giving in to impulses. in to impulses. Only then Onlycan then canbecame became larger and larger the and opportunities the opportunities for the individual for the individual were unlimited. were unlimited. an organisation an organisation be relevant be relevant to the to world the around world around it. it. Companies Companies and institutions and institutions no longer no longer communicate communicate only only Social progress Social progress quickened, quickened, and the and economy the economy boomed.boomed. pushed full pushed steam fullahead steamtoahead meet to themeet demands the demands of of with their withstakeholders their stakeholders and vice and versa. vice versa. They have Theybecome have become IndustryIndustry a steadily a steadily growinggrowing population population that hadthat increasing had increasing desires desires learning learning organisations, organisations, seekingseeking links tolinks the to market the market by by and needs. andThe needs. different The different steps within stepsthe within production the production continually continually adapting adapting to theirtosurroundings. their surroundings. When an When an processprocess were increasingly were increasingly coordinated coordinated better tobetter offer to offer organisation organisation entersenters a dialogue a dialogue in a fully in atransparent fully transparent manner, manner, just-in-time just-in-time delivery.delivery. The mass The media massbecame media became a common a common repository of knowledge, of knowledge, telling us telling whatus was what going was ongoing on this leads thisto leads efficient to efficient and flexible and flexible group processes group processes inside inside repository in other in places. other This places. resulted This resulted in socialincriticism social criticism for the for the and outside and outside the organisation. the organisation. This change This change createscreates the ideal the ideal first time first in atime longintime. a long The time. warThe in Vietnam, war in Vietnam, the threat the threat contextcontext for innovation for innovation and creativity. and creativity. of the Cold of the War: Cold everything War: everything was seen was andseen assessed. and assessed. Gradually, Gradually, a feelinga of feeling realism of realism supplanted supplanted the optimism the optimism of the early of the 1960s. earlyThe 1960s. innocent The innocent cries of cries ‘flower of power’ ‘flower power’ and ‘make andlove ‘make notlove war’not gave war’ way gave to an way underlying to an underlying feeling of feeling discontent. of discontent. We wanted We wanted greater greater control, control, the the ability toability influence to influence the direction the direction of the events of thearound events around us. This us. scenario This scenario could also could be seen also be in the seenDutch in the Dutch
economy—the economy—the rapid, unrestrained rapid, unrestrained growth growth began tobegan to raise questions raise questions in people’s in people’s minds and minds led to anda led callto fora call for greater greater structure. structure. The government The government took command took command of the of the situation. situation. A Structured A Structured Consumer Consumer Society:Society: the 1970s the 1970s The focus The onfocus the individual on the individual increasingly increasingly gave way gave in way in the 1970s theto1970s a collective to a collective outrage outrage about the about decisions the decisions superpowers superpowers were making were over making ourover heads. ourWe heads. began We began to see that to see we that couldwe influence could influence events ifevents we organised if we organised and united andwithin unitedthe within context the context of solidarity of solidarity movements movements devoteddevoted to subjects to subjects such as such the environment, as the environment, the thirdthe third world, nuclear world, nuclear energy, energy, and so on. andWith so on. ourWith thirst ourfor thirst for realism,realism, we wanted we wanted to be informed to be informed about what about was what going was going on. on. Time andTime again, andindustry again, industry was forced wastoforced negotiate to negotiate issues issues with policymakers, with policymakers, politicians politicians and the and highly theorganised highly organised trade union trade movement. union movement. Everyone Everyone had something had something to say. to say. Companies Companies were backed were into backed a corner into aand corner rapidly and forced rapidly forced to account to account for theirfor actions. their actions. Combined Combined with a climbing with a climbing nationalnational debt anddebt the and 70s the oil crisis, 70s oilallcrisis, of this allput of this a brake put a brake on the economy. on the economy. A highlyAstructured highly structured consumer consumer society society led to anled undesirable to an undesirable degree of degree mediocrity. of mediocrity. Initiatives Initiatives and innovations and innovations were nipped werein nipped the bud. in the Influence bud. Influence and and participation participation proved to proved have to a down have side, a down creating side, creating a a growinggrowing need forneed greater for greater differentiation differentiation and an ability and an ability to objectify. to objectify. This in turn Thisled in turn to fragmentation led to fragmentation and and individualisation. individualisation. The RiseThe of the RiseBrand: of thethe Brand: 1980s the 1980s Economically, Economically, the 1980s thewere 1980s a period were aofperiod reorganisation, of reorganisation, pay restraints pay restraints and the and imposition the imposition of efficiency of efficiency measures, measures, and product and product improvements. improvements. BecauseBecause everything everything had to had to be available be available everywhere, everywhere, short distribution short distribution lines hadlines to had to be set up. beItset was up.necessary It was necessary to maketo quality make transferable quality transferable in order in toorder guarantee to guarantee it everywhere. it everywhere. Distinctions Distinctions became became obscured obscured as a result, as aand result, standards and standards were subject were subject to to inflation.inflation. People started People started looking for looking a new fortype a new of type of added value, addedwhich value,was which sorely wasneeded sorely to needed stimulate to stimulate sales in sales the hard in the economic hard economic times oftimes the 1980s. of theThe 1980s. needThe need for distinction for distinction and added andvalue added placed valuethe placed brand theinbrand a in a differentdifferent light—brand light—brand added value. addedThe value. brand Thename brand was name was originally originally meant tomeant assure toconsumers assure consumers of a consistent, of a consistent, reliable reliable quality. quality. Marketers Marketers now discovered now discovered that it was that it was well-suited well-suited to help consumers to help consumers identify identify and differentiate and differentiate products. products. BrandingBranding became became the newthe by-word new by-word and wasand was soon indispensable. soon indispensable. The brand Thespoke brandtospoke us directly, to us directly, giving giving each of us each theoffreedom us the freedom to see intoitsee what in we it what wanted we wanted to to see. Brands see. elicited Brands elicited an emotion, an emotion, represented represented a lifestyle, a lifestyle, and were and thewere answer the answer to individualisation. to individualisation. Accountability: Accountability: the 1990s the 1990s Not untilNot theuntil 1990s, thein1990s, the heyday in the of heyday companies of companies such such as Nike and as Nike Benetton, and Benetton, did we begin did we tobegin question to question the the legitimacy legitimacy of brands. of brands. ‘Who is ‘Who actually is actually behind these behind these big names? big names? Who is spending Who is spending these enormous these enormous sums of sums of money on money branding? on branding? And howAnd exactly how is exactly this money is this money
earned?’earned?’ A counter-movement A counter-movement once again once ensued, again ensued, directeddirected against against multinationals. multinationals. The operations The operations of theseof these companies companies started started to become to become transparent. transparent. Initially,Initially, the the movement movement was limited was to limited a small to left-wing a small left-wing group. Then, group. Then, gradually, gradually, the issues thebeing issues raised beingbecame raised became relevant.relevant. The The multinationals multinationals had to speak had totospeak us, communicate to us, communicate with with us. Not surprisingly, us. Not surprisingly, Naomi Klein Naomi found Kleinanfound audience an audience for her ‘No for Logo’ her ‘No message. Logo’ message. We learnt Wethat, learnt behind that,the behind the face of large face of brands, large brands, some fairly some nasty fairlypractices nasty practices were were sometimes sometimes hiding. We hiding. discovered We discovered that purchasing that purchasing a pair a pair of Nikesof promoted Nikes promoted child labour childinlabour Southeast in Southeast Asia, that Asia, that the tropical the tropical rainforest rainforest was adversely was adversely affectedaffected by the by the number number of McDonald’s of McDonald’s hamburgers hamburgers we ate, we andate, thatand we that we were putting were putting human rights humaninrights Nigeria in at Nigeria risk by atfilling risk by filling up at Shell. up at The Shell. anonymity The anonymity that marked that marked the 1990s theled 1990s led to a sense to aofsense unaccountability, of unaccountability, which was which absolutely was absolutely unacceptable. unacceptable. In the mid-90s, In the mid-90s, we tookwe thetook effort thea effort step a step further in further response in response to this lack to this of accountability. lack of accountability. We We wanted wanted to knowto not know onlynot about onlythe about companies the companies behind behind the brands, the brands, but about butthe about people thebehind peoplethe behind companies. the companies. We asked Wethem asked to them revealtotheir reveal identities, their identities, and and increasingly increasingly based our based judgements our judgements on whaton wewhat learnt. we learnt. The perception The perception we initially we initially based onbased the brand on thewas brand nowwas now playing an playing ever-diminishing an ever-diminishing role in forming role in forming our image our image of a company. of a company. Identity:Identity: the herethe andhere nowand now 11 September 11 September 2001 was 2001 thewas finalthe blow final to blow an already to an already ailing economy; ailing economy; a global acrisis global ensued. crisis ensued. The call The for call for authenticity authenticity and integrity and integrity grew. Particularly grew. Particularly when when large-scale large-scale fraud was fraud uncovered was uncovered at companies at companies in the USin the US and Europe and in Europe whichinwe which had placed we hadour placed unconditional our unconditional trust uptrust to then. up to How then. could How things couldhave things gone have so gone wrong so wrong at Enronatand Enron Ahold, andcompanies Ahold, companies which we which always we thought always thought represented represented the bestthe their best respective their respective countries countries had to had to offer? Fear offer? setFear in because, set in because, up to then, up to they then, hadthey never had never been required been required to provide to provide a real account a real account of themselves of themselves —we had —we simply hadaccepted simply accepted their propositions their propositions as true as true withoutwithout further consideration. further consideration. We grewWe wary grew of wary of vague explanations vague explanations or endless or endless discussions, discussions, and forced and forced organisations organisations to speaktofrom speak thefrom perspective the perspective of their of their identity,identity, to take responsibility to take responsibility for the consequences for the consequences of of their actions. their actions. This placed Thisthe placed impetus the impetus for communication for communication on the top on level the top of the levelorganisation. of the organisation. Questions Questions of of legitimacy legitimacy and tackling and tackling the essential the essential issues and issues and ambitions ambitions of the organisation of the organisation could not could be left notto bethe left to the marketer, marketer, whose function whose function was limited was to limited the sale to the of sale of products. products. The organisation The organisation was responsible was responsible for delivering for delivering on its promises. on its promises.
image = perception image = perception (perceived (perceived identity) identity) identity =identity ambition = ambition (desired image) (desired image)
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THE INTERPLAY THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN BETWEEN IDENTITYIDENTITY AND IMAGE AND IMAGE Identity Identity (desired(desired image) image) Identity Identity is how an is organisation how an organisation presentspresents itself. itself. It is apparent It is apparent in its behaviour, in its behaviour, its symbols its symbols and and its communication. its communication. It is the Itreverberation is the reverberation of an of an organisation’s organisation’s ‘personality’. ‘personality’. The termThe ‘corporate term ‘corporate identity’identity’ is often is used often to used convey to the convey sense theofsense ‘desired of ‘desired image’ and image’ and thus to make thus to itsmake ambitions its ambitions directly directly visible. visible. Image (perceived Image (perceived identity)identity) Image isImage the actual is themental actual picture mental that picture target thatgroups target groups have of an have organisation. of an organisation. It is formed It is by formed all impressions by all impressions and experiences and experiences that people thathave people of the haveorganisation, of the organisation, real or perceived. real or perceived. The formation The formation of an image of analways image has always a has a cognitivecognitive component component (what I know (whatabout I know company about company X) and X) and X). ImageX). Image an affective an affective component component (what I think (whatofI company think of company and reputation and reputation are the same are the thing, samealthough thing, although in popular in popular languagelanguage reputation reputation is most often is most used often in aused judgemental in a judgemental sense and sense is therefore and is therefore directeddirected at the affective at the affective component. component. The internal The internal image ofimage a company of a company is its self-image. is its self-image.
Ethics: the Ethics: 2000s the 2000s IdentityIdentity does notdoes last not forever, last forever, neither as neither a starting as a starting point point for the communication for the communication of an organisation of an organisation nor as anor wayas a way to gain social to gainlegitimacy. social legitimacy. It is nowItapparent is now apparent that identity that identity is in realisdanger in real of danger deteriorating of deteriorating to the point to the where pointitwhere it is a construction is a construction that lacks that any lacks authenticity any authenticity an empty an empty shell used shell as used a sales as ploy. a sales Theploy. public Thelearns publicfrom learns itsfrom its experience experience with thewith brand, theand brand, is not andsatisfied is not satisfied when when identity identity is expressed is expressed as an instrument as an instrument of image. of image. At the same At the time, same society time, is society becoming is becoming more and more more and more anonymous. anonymous. The welfare The welfare state is state gradually is gradually crumbling crumbling and we have and we to have rely increasingly to rely increasingly on ourselves. on ourselves. Media Media such as such the Internet, as the Internet, UMTS and UMTS the and mobile thetelephone mobile telephone have accelerated have accelerated the flowthe of information flow of information and haveand have made personal made personal relationships relationships more superficial. more superficial. Interrelationships Interrelationships are becoming are becoming less theless norm. theWith norm. all With all the toolsthe available tools available to us, we tocircle us, wearound circle each around other. each other. Yet we are Yet earnestly we are earnestly searching searching for a way fortoaremain way to remain connected connected with onewith another one another now thatnow personal that personal contact contact is no longer is noan longer automatic an automatic and structured and structured event between event between people. people. This fragmentation This fragmentation of society of will society create willan create ever an ever strongerstronger need forneed a certain for a type certain of standardisation: type of standardisation: socially socially acceptedaccepted standards standards that arethat necessary are necessary to give direction to give direction to an ever to an more ever dynamic more dynamic society. society. ThroughThrough shared values, shared we values, are creating we are creating a new form a new form of Connectivity of Connectivity that is not thatlimited is not to limited our social to our social relationships. relationships. This canThis alsocan be applied also be to applied the economy. to the economy. The values Thewe values use to wegive useour to give livesour direction lives direction (our (our integrity) integrity) are alsoare required also required of companies of companies and the and the government. government. The economy The economy is society is and society viceand versa. vice versa. And, increasingly, And, increasingly, corporate corporate responsibility responsibility and goodand good governance governance are becoming are becoming a licencea to licence operate. to operate.
FROM FROM MAKING MAKING A CLAIM A CLAIM TO PROVING TO PROVING IT IT Year in, Year year in, out,year companies out, companies large and large small and spend small spend hundreds hundreds of millions of millions of eurosofoneuros communication: on communication: printed matter, printed visual matter,material, visual material, logos and logos banners, and banners, house styles, housecampaigns, styles, campaigns, and radio and and radio TV commercials. and TV commercials. Clients and Clients professionals and professionals work onwork the basis on the of basis long- of longtrusted trusted conventions, conventions, reflexesreflexes and methods: and methods: supply and supply and demanddemand are clear, are and clear, leadand to measurable lead to measurable productsproducts at set rates at set with rates a pre-determined with a pre-determined result. Everyone result. Everyone seems toseems be satisfied. to be satisfied. Yet underneath, Yet underneath, the unease the unease is growing. is growing. Countless Countless instruments instruments that professional that professional service service providers providers have traditionally have traditionally used to used support to support the positioning the positioning of companies of companies in advertising, in advertising, design and design and corporate corporate communication communication are losing arethe losing effectiveness the effectiveness they once they had. once They had. now They come now across comeas across dull, and as dull, missand miss the intended the intended effect. Ifeffect. they do If they have do an have impact, an impact, it is it is short-lived. short-lived. The conventional The conventional methodsmethods and techniques— and techniques— regardless regardless of how perfectly of how perfectly and refinedly and refinedly they have they been have been developed developed within the within different the different métiers—are métiers—are not leading not leading to the intended to the intended result. Because result. Because of their of ineffectiveness, their ineffectiveness, they arethey often are the often firstthe item first to be item cuttoback be cut during backhard during hard economic economic times. Particularly times. Particularly the waythe in which way inbig which brands big brands
are presented are presented and maintained and maintained no longer noseems longertoseems be to be connected connected to current to current social realities. social realities.
reliability, reliability, even though even itthough does not it does givenot much give away much with away with respect respect to its reserves to its reserves of oil. of oil.
Erosion Erosion of Traditional of Traditional Brand Thinking Brand Thinking In recentIndecades, recent decades, brands have brands evolved have evolved from tools from used tools used to limit risks to limit andrisks guarantee and guarantee quality into quality symbols into symbols full of full of significance, significance, into icons into with icons which withmany which people manyidentify people identify in in the mantra the of mantra the modern of the modern marketer. marketer. This ‘brand Thisthinking’ ‘brand thinking’ is basedisonbased the idea on the thatidea the that behaviour the behaviour of the end of user the end canuser can be influenced be influenced through through a construction a construction of emotional of emotional and and functional functional connotations connotations that have that no have otherno purpose other purpose than to than to sell products sell products and services. and services. But there But arethere serious are reasons serious reasons to assume to assume that thisthat thinking this thinking is ripe for is critical ripe foranalysis: critical analysis:
The moreThe wemore comewe to come knowto about knowthe about companies the companies behind the behind brands, the brands, the shallower the shallower the content the content of the of the communication communication for manyfor brands manybecomes brands becomes and the and greater the greater our irritation our irritation with thewith excesses the excesses of this communication. of this communication. So it is not So it surprising is not surprising that those that who those arewho exposing are exposing the the discrepancy discrepancy betweenbetween the behaviour the behaviour of the parent of thebehind parent behind the brand theand brand the and brand theseen brand as seen a network as a network of associations of associations are eliciting are eliciting a significant a significant responseresponse in society. in society.
The Symbolic The Symbolic Value of Value Brandsof Brands This ‘brand Thisthinking’ ‘brand thinking’ is basedisonbased the view on the that view brands thatare brands are primarilyprimarily meant tomeant be clusters to be clusters of valuesofand values channels and channels of communication of communication to the market, to the market, offeringoffering the biggest the biggest possiblepossible congruence congruence betweenbetween the brand thevalues brandand values the and the value system value of system the target of thegroup. targetBrands group.symbolise Brands symbolise the the aspirations aspirations of consumers, of consumers, the lifestyle the lifestyle to whichtothey which they aspire, and aspire, the and socio-economic the socio-economic class to class whichtothey which they belong. This belong. is the This central is the thesis centralofthesis branding. of branding. This symbolic This symbolic functionfunction of brands ofisbrands becoming is becoming less less relevant.relevant. The brand Theused brand as used a symbol as a of symbol the social of theposition social position someonesomeone occupiesoccupies is being is undermined being undermined by a process by a process of of social equalisation social equalisation in society. in society. Ironically, Ironically, status brands status brands such as such Armani as and Armani Ray-Ban and Ray-Ban still serve still asserve a symbol as a of symbol of social status socialonly status among onlythe among economic the economic underclass. underclass. The relevance The relevance of the symbolic of the symbolic functionfunction of brands ofin brands a in a wider sense—that wider sense—that is, as a bearer is, as aofbearer identity—is of identity—is also in also in decline. decline. Increasingly, Increasingly, people are people defining are defining their identity their identity on the basis on the of basis intangible of intangible consumer consumer behaviour—their behaviour—their university university major, extraordinary major, extraordinary trips taken, tripsvisits taken, tovisits to (cultural) (cultural) events, engagement events, engagement in sports. in All sports. of these All of things these things have much have more much of more an impact of anon impact the interpretation on the interpretation of of identity identity than brands thando. brands do.
The Individual The Individual and the Brand and the Brand Finally, the Finally, attitude the attitude of the individual of the individual towardstowards brands and brands and the companies the companies hiding behind hidingthem behind is also themchanging. is also changing. Until Until the mid-1990s, the mid-1990s, people had people littlehad interest little interest in the company in the company behind the behind brand. theThese brand.days, These consumers days, consumers want to want be to be able to identify able to identify with thewith companies the companies whose products whose products and and servicesservices they purchase, they purchase, rather than rather with than thewith abstract the abstract symbolssymbols or lifestyle or lifestyle communicated communicated in the marketing in the marketing of of these brands. these brands. BecauseBecause we can no welonger can noautomatically longer automatically rely on government rely on government to safeguard to safeguard the values theofvalues our society, of our society, people are people noware looking now for looking companies for companies with whom withthey whom they share certain share values certainand values whoand have who a long-term have a long-term strategystrategy and vision andfor vision society for with society which withthey which canthey identify. can identify. Brand Brand communication communication is too superficial, is too superficial, too one-dimensional too one-dimensional and and too artificial too artificial to address to address these concerns. these concerns. The Identity The Identity ScenarioScenario In contrast In contrast to ‘brandtothinking’—in ‘brand thinking’—in which the which pointthe is point is to establish to establish a distinction a distinction from other from brands other as brands soon as as soon as possible,possible, to communicate to communicate this distinction this distinction and thusand gain thus gain consumers’ consumers’ appreciation—identity appreciation—identity thinkingthinking is focused is focused on on introducing introducing transparency transparency to the organisation’s to the organisation’s thinkingthinking and actions. and actions.
Transparency Transparency and Brands and Brands The increase The increase in transparency in transparency as a development as a development in society in society is undeniably is undeniably important, important, even foreven companies. for companies. Companies Companies and organisations and organisations are increasingly are increasingly being forced beingtoforced be to be open about opentheir about comings their comings and goings. and The goings. Internet The Internet has has made it possible made it possible for anyone for to anyone knowto everything, know everything, more more or less, about or less,a company about a company and to share and to this share information this information with others. with Every others. day Every countless day countless new lovenew andlove hateand sites hate sites about companies about companies are added aretoadded the Web. to the Journalists Web. Journalists are are contributing contributing to this phenomenon. to this phenomenon.
Self-aware Self-aware organisations organisations determine determine the subjects, the subjects, themes themes or issuesorabout issueswhich aboutthey which have they an have opinion an opinion and the and waythe in which way inthey which express they express this opinion this (values opinion (values and/or standards and/or standards that arethat shared are with shared others). with others). They They take a position take a position towardstowards things that things arethat happening are happening in in society and society the and marketplace the marketplace and theyand thus they laythus claimlay toclaim to a logicalaposition logical position on the playing on the field playing of target field ofgroups, target groups, shareholders shareholders and stakeholders. and stakeholders. These groups, These groups, in turn, in turn, know what know to what expect tofrom expect thefrom organisation the organisation and findand thisfind this confirmed confirmed in its behaviour, in its behaviour, communication communication and symbols. and symbols. These three These elements three elements of identity of identity are inextricably are inextricably linked with linked each with other each and other reinforce and reinforce one another. one another. The The organisation organisation presentspresents itself clearly itselfvia clearly these viaaspects these aspects and and thus laysthus thelays foundation the foundation for trustfor and trust respect. and respect.
The increased The increased transparency transparency is putting is many putting brands manyon brands on the defence. the defence. The promises The promises and values andthrough values through which a which a brand profiles brand profiles itself often itself stand often instand sharpin contrast sharp contrast to the to the behaviour behaviour of the ‘parent of the behind ‘parentthe behind brand’, thewhether brand’, whether it is it is Nike thatNike claims thattoclaims bring to outbring the best out the in people best inand people at the and at the same time same seems timetoseems regardtochildren regard children as a cheap as asource cheap source of labour, ofor labour, Shell,or which Shell,iswhich built around is built connotations around connotations of of
Communication, Communication, behaviour behaviour and symbols and symbols take on take an on an entirely entirely differentdifferent significance significance on the basis on the of basis identity. of identity. The focus The shifts focustoshifts emotion, to emotion, to identification to identification instead instead of making of an making impression, an impression, to commitment to commitment instead instead of of profiling, profiling, and to the anddevelopment to the development of a relationship of a relationship instead instead of actingofon acting impulse. on impulse. Only then Only canthen an can an organisation organisation become become relevantrelevant to its environment. to its environment.
Brand scenario Brand scenario – wishes–towishes be distinctive to be distinctive – wishes–towishes be present to be present – via courage – viatocourage sympathy to sympathy – ideological – ideological programme programme – strives–forstrives appreciation for appreciation
|– positioning |– positioning |– improvement |– improvement |– position|–ofposition the organisation of the organisation in society in society
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Identity scenario Identity scenario – wishes–towishes make connections to make connections – wishes–towishes be transparent to be transparent – via attention – via attention for content fortocontent sympathy to sympathy – assessable – assessable programme programme – strives–forstrives relevance for relevance
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|– power of the brand |– renewal |– profiling
Zooming inZooming on scenario in onchoice scenario choice
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BRAND SCENARIO BRAND SCENARIO VS IDENTITY VS IDENTITY SCENARIO SCENARIO In a brand In ascenario, brand scenario, a product, a product, service service or organisation or organisation is launched is launched as a brand as aand brand placed andon placed the market. on the market. By contrast, By contrast, an identity an identity scenarioscenario is focused is focused on on revealing revealing what anwhat organisation an organisation stands for, stands making for, making visible what visible it is what thatitties is that organisations ties organisations to their to their clients. clients. Such communication Such communication should be should basedbe based on the organisation on the organisation itself, itsitself, own its identity own identity and and values. The values. focus The is focus on an is entire on anrange entireofrange facetsof facets that make that you make acceptable. you acceptable. This creates This creates trust, trust, prospects turn, prospects for the future. for the future. sympathy sympathy and, in turn, and, in
From metronome From metronome of the market of the tomarket scenario to scenario See the diagrams See the diagrams on page 32on page 32
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Values, Standards, Values, Standards, Themes Themes and Issues and Issues The question The question here is: here to what is: to extent whatdoes extent thedoes organisation the organisation find it possible find it possible to give its to give employees its employees the relative the relative freedomfreedom to give shape to givetoshape the organisation’s to the organisation’s values invalues accordance in accordance with their with own their insight. own insight. The larger Thethe larger organisation the organisation is, the is, the more these morefreedoms these freedoms will undeniably will undeniably be curbed be and curbed more and more or less exchanged or less exchanged for its standards for its standards or principles. or principles. These These are choices are choices that thethat organisation the organisation will havewill to have maketo over make over time based timeonbased its growth, on its growth, its ambitions its ambitions and its strategy. and its strategy. The same The applies same to applies the choice to theofchoice themes of themes or issuesor issues mentioned mentioned above. above. Choosing Choosing issues requires issues requires a proactive a proactive organisation organisation that is primarily that is primarily guided by guided whatby is what going is ongoing around on it. around it. Trends and Trends issues andare issues identified are identified and addressed and addressed as earlyas early as possible. as possible. Anticipating Anticipating is far better is farthan better reacting. than reacting. FormingForming public opinion public is opinion betteristhan better trying thantotrying manipulate to manipulate it. An issue-driven it. An issue-driven organisation organisation is close is to close its target to its target groups, groups, and stands andin stands the midst in theofmidst society, of society, yet also yet hasalso to has to invest ininvest it. Choosing in it. Choosing themes themes is relatively is relatively safer. Themes safer. Themes are matters are matters that thethat organisation the organisation understands understands and which and which it can beitproud can beof.proud Themes of. Themes are lessare time-sensitive, less time-sensitive, and and to a large to degree a large the degree organisation the organisation has control has over control them. over them. It can manipulate It can manipulate them and them address and address them when them it when thinksit thinks the timethe is right, time is not right, by definition not by definition based onbased trends onintrends the in the market or market society. or society.
The stylist The stylist The entrepreneur The entrepreneur StructuralStructural approach.approach. StructuralStructural approach.approach. Recognition Recognition on that basis. on that basis. Recognition Recognition on that basis. on that basis. Naturally, Naturally, freedom freedom Drive direction/steer Drive direction/steer of methods. of methods. (operational) (operational) process. process.
The Personification The Personification of Organisations of Organisations Much more Much than more simply thanadapting simply adapting the communication the communication strategy,strategy, identity identity requiresrequires an internal an internal change in change attitude. in attitude. Standards Standards and values andthat values ensue thatfrom ensue thefrom personality the personality of of the organisation the organisation not onlynot serve onlyasserve the point as the of point departure of departure for its communication for its communication and symbols—they and symbols—they are alsoare thealso the guidelines guidelines for its behaviour. for its behaviour. They guide They allguide people allinpeople in their actions their actions and force and employees force employees at everyatlevel every to take level to take responsibility. responsibility. Management Management steers and steers determines and determines the the framework framework in whichinthey which work. theyThe work. employees The employees are asked are asked to have to thehave discipline the discipline to give things to giveshape thingsbased shapeonbased the on the organisation’s organisation’s identity.identity. They tackle Theysubjects tackle subjects from within from within these frameworks, these frameworks, make them make operational, them operational, and takeand take responsibility responsibility for them. forThey them. do They this not do this by imitating not by imitating the the manager, manager, but based butonbased the personality on the personality and ambition and ambition that that have been have formulated. been formulated.
This newThis approach new approach requiresrequires a different a different attitudeattitude from from organisations. organisations. It requires It requires a type ofa empathy type of empathy that is that is directly directly opposedopposed to the paternalistic, to the paternalistic, patronising patronising and and perception-focused perception-focused attitudeattitude that people thathave people come have tocome to associate associate with organisations. with organisations.
The expert The expert The realist The realist Reality asReality a starting as apoint starting point Reality asReality a guideline as a guideline for everyone for everyone individually individually but ratherbut generally, rather generally, fleshed out fleshed on theout basis on the basis not individually not individually of the personality of the personality defined, steered. defined, steered. of the organisation. of the organisation. Issues Issues
THE CHOICE THE BETWEEN CHOICE BETWEEN THEMESTHEMES AND ISSUES AND ISSUES Themes Themes are defined are defined from thefrom inside theout: inside what out: is what going is ongoing on structurally, structurally, in what in fields what are fields we active, are wewhat active, can what we can we offer theoffer client? theIssues client?are Issues defined are defined from thefrom outside the outside in: in: what current what current themes themes are present are present in society in that society serve that serve as the basis as the forbasis our actions? for our actions? ProfilingProfiling based onbased themes on themes is is more structural more structural by nature. by An nature. organisation An organisation understands understands the full breadth the full breadth of its own of its profession, own profession, has a definite has a definite opinion about opinionit about and expresses it and expresses this opinion. this opinion. In the case In the of case of issues, the issues, organisation the organisation plays onplays current on current economic economic and and social trends socialintrends its profiling in its profiling by making by statements making statements about about them and them by linking and bythem linking to them its services. to its services. The Choice Thebetween Choice between Values and Values Standards and Standards Values are Values the shared are the and, shared for and, us, natural for us, principles natural principles from which fromwe which act, we andact, theyand anticipate they anticipate a high degree a high degree of awareness of awareness and capacity and capacity for self-guidance. for self-guidance. Standards Standards are usedare to used maketo key make values keyoperational values operational as a guide as a guide for employees. for employees. Values imply Values greater imply greater freedomfreedom of actionof action for individual for individual employees, employees, who orient whothemselves orient themselves and and interpretinterpret the personality the personality of the organisation. of the organisation. Standards Standards have translated have translated these values, these rationalised values, rationalised the viewthe of view of the future theand future made and this made view this a guide view for a guide the actions for the actions of of the employee. the employee. In the first In the case, first it is case, the itperson is the that person is the that is the centre of centre focus.ofInfocus. the second, In the second, it is the itprocess. is the process. In summary, In summary, themes/issues themes/issues pertain pertain to the ‘what’ to thein‘what’ in the organisation the organisation (the hard (the side) hard andside) values/standards and values/standards pertain pertain to the ‘how’ to the (the ‘how’ soft(the side). soft What side). anWhat organisation an organisation does anddoes howand it does howititmake does it the make identity the identity and its profile and its profile visible and visible are and critical are to critical establishing to establishing its image. its image.
VISIONVISION INTERVIEW INTERVIEW WITH WITH JAN SCHINKELSHOEK, JAN SCHINKELSHOEK, FORMER FORMER DIRECTOR DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATION OF COMMUNICATION AT THEAT THE RABOBANK RABOBANK ‘I am ‘Iconvinced am convinced that these that these days days you cannot you cannot build build a brand a brand without without thinking thinking
aboutabout the questions the questions of who of Iwho am, Iwho am, Iwho wantI want to be to and bewho and Iwho wantI want to become.’ to become.’
companies that companies who made who matters made matters and make and it make relevant it relevant to today.toTotoday. revitalise To revitalise ‘The accent ‘Thein accent corporate in corporate communication communicationsee thatsee soundthan better they than were they in were their in their the co-operative the co-operative spirit. Ten spirit. years Ten earlier years earlier has shifted has sharply shifted sharply in the last in the ten last years ten yearssound better I wouldn’t have done have this. done Thethis. changed The changed communications have fallen haveflat fallen on their flat on theirI wouldn’t from transmitting from transmitting to receiving. to receiving. Much Much communications sprit of the sprittimes, of thealluded times, to alluded above, tomade above, made faces. Infaces. my experience, In my experience, this is a this reaction is a reaction greater greater attention attention is given is togiven the intended to the intended it possible. After coming After up coming with up a number with a number to the exaggerated to the exaggerated brand thinking brand thinking of the of theit possible. recipientrecipient of the message of the message and to whether and to whether of concepts, we told we our told advertising our advertising 1990s: creation the creation of stories of that stories were that wereof concepts, the message the message reachesreaches all stakeholders— all stakeholders—1990s: the agency: agency: ‘Listen, we ‘Listen, wantwe someone want someone that that not grounded in the roots in the ofroots the organisaof the organisaan organibut an organi-not grounded not onlynot theonly target thegroup, targetbut group, simply tells simply thetells Rabobank’s the Rabobank’s story.’ Jochem story.’ Jochem tion, did that not grow did not outgrow of anout organisaof an organisasation’s sation’s own employees. own employees. This follows This follows tion, that de Bruinde was Bruin born. was Onborn. seeing Onthe seeing firstthe first tion’s identity. Increasingly Increasingly these stories these stories the trend the that trend requires that requires organisations organisations tion’s identity. Jochem-commercial Jochem-commercial I knew: we I knew: had we had through, seen through, and the and market the can market no can no to account to account for themselves. for themselves. It beganItinbegan in are seenare struck gold. struck Notgold. everyone Not everyone was convinced was convinced longer be longer fooled. beAuthenticity fooled. Authenticity has become has become politics,politics, then crept then over crept intoover public intoadmipublic admiof this from of this thefrom start. theBut start. it has Butbeen it has been The story The has story to be has real to and be real and nistration nistration and is currently and is currently knockingknocking at at crucial. crucial. more successful than I orthan anyone I or at anyone the at the it must from come thefrom roots the ofroots the of themore successful true; come the doorthe of trade door of and trade industry. and industry. The Open The Opentrue; it must Rabobank Rabobank ever dared everdream. dared With dream. respect With respect organisation. It is nowItimportant is now important to maketo make Government Government Act is thirty Act isyears thirty old years and old and organisation. to our performance to our performance in the market, in the market, but but the identity of your organisation of your organisation relevantrelevant the business the business community community is not yet is up nottoyet up tothe identity alsopride to the and pride motivation and motivation of our of our to the market, today’s citizens today’s citizens and the and the also to the par, though par, the though trend the is trend gradually is gradually taking takingto the market, employees. employees. The second The fact second is atfact least is at just least just consumer. consumer. I am convinced I am convinced that these thatdays these days hold. This hold. comes Thisfrom comes increased from increased responsiresponsias important as important to me astothe mepositive as the positive appre- appreyou cannot you build cannot a brand build awithout brand without thinkingthinking bility, individualisation bility, individualisation and consumerism. and consumerism. ciation thefrom market. the market. BecauseBecause of our of our about question the question of who Iof am, who who I am, I who I ciation from are at the arehelm at the helm about the Consumers Consumers or citizens or citizens decentralised structure, structure, I cannotI create cannot create want to want be, and to who be, and I want whotoI want become.’ to become.’ decentralised and haveand become have become more critical, more critical, and there and there a brand aatbrand the Rabobank at the Rabobank from above, from above, is less that is less they that arethey willing areto willing accept to accept it won’t itwork. won’tIt work. has toIthave has to support have support I started 2001 I started workingworking at the at the withoutwithout question. question. This hasThis forced hasorgaforced orga- ‘In 2001‘In internally. internally. This involves This involves a much subtler a much subtler Rabobank. 11 September 11 September 2001 marked 2001 marked the the nisations nisations to take atodifferent take a different attitude,attitude, Rabobank. than thethan one the usedone at used say Philips, at say Philips, end eraoffor anme. era The for me. timeThe fortime telling for tellingprocessprocess to provide to provide an account an account of their of actions. their actions. end of an where top where management top management announces: announces: Sense Sense pretty stories pretty was stories past. was I started past. I started thinkingthinking Companies Companies must justify mustand justify explain and explain and simplicity, and that’s andall.’ that’s all.’ about brands, corporate corporate identity identity themselves themselves and giveand an account give an account of their of theirabout brands, and and and simplicity, actions.’actions.’ about what about I wanted what I wanted to achieve to achieve throughthrough ‘When I ‘When first arrived I first here, arrived I was here, I was the communication the communication for the Rabobank. for the Rabobank. Very Very confronted confronted with a strange with a strange type of type of ‘Communication ‘Communication has changed has changed from thefrom the consciously consciously I chose to I chose take the to take earlythe story early story inferiority inferiority complex.complex. A feelingA of feeling awe: of awe: provision provision of information of information to story-telling. to story-telling.of the Rabobank—which of the Rabobank—which began asbegan a farm as a farm everyone sat in wonder sat in wonder at the Bank’s at the Bank’s Up to theUpend to the of the end1990s, of thewe 1990s, thought we thought credit bank credit that bank wasthat founded was founded at the end at the endeveryone image. This image. is why Thisthe is why Jochem the de Jochem Bruinde Bruin that corporate that corporate communication communication was about was about of the 19th of the century 19th century to help farmers to help farmers better better was accompanied was accompanied from thefrom the campaign putting putting togethertogether a good story. a goodNow story. youNow you themselves—out themselves—out of long-forgotten of long-forgotten files filescampaign
start bystart an internal by an internal brandingbranding programme. programme. is certainly is certainly the casethe when case you when try to you try to Jochem deJochem Bruin isdea fictional Bruin is aDutch fictional character Dutch character in an in an ad campaign ad campaign by the Rabobank. by the Rabobank. He is played Heby is the played by the Jochem was Jochem given was angiven internal an internal websitewebsite spotlightspotlight your story your in story an authentic in an authentic actor Vincent actorRietveld. VincentThe Rietveld. campaign The campaign has attracted has attracted where we where present we present him as an him employee as an employee manner.manner. It is a very It issubtle a verybalance subtle balance that that a lot of attention. a lot of attention. ConceivedConceived by the Amsterdam by the Amsterdam of the bank. of the We bank. talk We about talkwhat about hewhat does,he does, has to be has struck. to be The struck. communication The communication advertisingadvertising agency Ubachs agency Wisbrun, Ubachs in Wisbrun, June 2005 in June it 2005 it wasthe awarded Goldenthe Effie Golden by the Effie Association by the Association of of he keepshea keeps journala and journal comments and comments on on department department has to anticipate has to anticipate reality, reality, was awarded Communication Communication Advertising Advertising Agencies. Agencies. the statethe of state affairs ofinside affairsthe inside bank. the It bank. is It isexpressexpress an ambition, an ambition, but at the butsame at the same bearing bearing fruit. The fruit. people Theat people the Rabobank at the Rabobank time make time sure make that sure they that do they not run do not too run too also identify also identify with thewith Rabobank the Rabobank story. This story. This far ahead farofahead the troops. of the This troops. is when This is you when you explainsexplains the success the success of the campaign of the campaign to a tomake a the make story the better storythan better it is, than promise it is, promise large degree.’ large degree.’ the moon the and, moon before and,you before know you it,know your it, your credibility credibility is shot.’ is shot.’ Credibility Credibility thatfact we that takewe ourtake corporate our corporate ‘Taking the ‘Taking corporate the corporate story asstory a starting as a starting‘The fact‘The as the starting as the starting point forpoint our brand for our brand point forpoint yourfor corporate your corporate communication communicationidentity identity communication communication also means alsothat means everyone that everyone is anything is anything but simple. but The simple. story The that story youthat you and everything—the and everything—the Board ofBoard Directors, of Directors, communicate communicate to the outside to the outside world has world to has to the personnel the personnel policy, our policy, products, our products, our our be a success be a success story, even story, though even mistakes though mistakes statements—all have to have support to support the story the story have been have made been atmade the bank at the in the bankpast. in the past.statements—all of the Rabobank. They all They have all to have tell the to tell the They areThey difficult are difficult to include to in include the story. in the story.of the Rabobank. story. Moreover: taken together, taken together, we are we are Communication Communication people, myself people,included, myself included,story. Moreover: the story. theItstory. is not Iteasy is not to get easyalltoofget this all of this have thehave tendency the tendency to maketo the make story the shine story shine co-ordinated co-ordinated and make and it make a partitofa the part of the brighterbrighter than thethan truth. theWhen truth.you When do this, you do this, image youthat put you out.put Butout. if you Butdon’t if you dodon’t do authenticity authenticity becomesbecomes a communication a communication image that an on an though even your though story your is story basedisonbased trick. This trick. is the Thisinherent is the inherent danger. danger. You You it, even it, authentic past, it will past,goitbust. will go It requires bust. It requires have to have be really to behonest really and honest be able and to be able to authentic the communication the communication department department to take to take talk about talkyour about weak your points. weak That points. is very That is very on a different on a different role. Thisrole. is why Thiswe is why are we are weview still we still difficult.difficult. For example, For example, in my view in my notdepartment a staff department that floats thatabove floats above insufficiently insufficiently translate translate the truethe story true ofstory ofnot a staff all the other all the departments other departments of the bank. of the bank. the Rabobank, the Rabobank, as told by asJochem told by de Jochem Bruin,de Bruin, We are involved We are involved in the development in the development of of into veryinto tangible very tangible productsproducts and services. and services. products, we engage we in engage the discussion in the discussion on on We position We position the Rabobank the Rabobank as the bank as the bank products, personnel personnel policy, and policy, we are and present we are present in all in all that takes that the takes different the different path. It is path. a claim It is a claim layers capillaries and capillaries of our organisation. of our organisation. that we that can base we can on base our past on our history past history layers and It is beginning to work.toThe work. difference The difference and it has andworked it has worked well. Butwell. what But does what does It is beginning betweenbetween who wewho are, we our are, corporate our corporate that mean that formean the present? for the present? ThroughThrough what what and howand we how are seen, we are our seen, brand, our brand, productsproducts are we keeping are we keeping this promise? this promise? identity,identity, is becoming increasingly increasingly smaller.’smaller.’ We haveWe a couple have aof couple products of products that do that do is becoming this, such this, as such member as member certificates certificates and the and the generation generation mortgage, mortgage, but it continues but it continues to be difficult. to be difficult. The hidden Thedanger hidden is danger that is that communication communication and business and business become become too far removed too far removed from onefrom another. one another. This This
COMMUNICATION COMMUNICATION FROM FROM THE STANDPOINT THE STANDPOINT OF IDENTITY OF IDENTITY The Development The Development of the Communication of the Communication Profession Profession Originally, Originally, the purpose the purpose of communication of communication was to was to inform and inform explain. and explain. It was primarily It was primarily seen as seen a wayas a way to inform tothe inform outside the outside world about worlda about company a company or an or an organisation. organisation. This changed This changed in the 1980s. in thePeople 1980s.started People started to use communication to use communication to realise tothe realise objectives the objectives of an of an organisation. organisation. This made This communication made communication an instrument an instrument in service in service of image, ofmore image, focused more focused on changing on changing the the opinionsopinions and (buying) and (buying) behaviour behaviour of targetofgroups target through groups through persuasion. persuasion. This canThis particularly can particularly be seen be in marketing seen in marketing communication, communication, which radically which radically professionalised professionalised this this form of form communication. of communication. Since the Since 1990s, thecommunication 1990s, communication tasks have tasks broadened. have broadened. Under the Under influence the influence of an increasingly of an increasingly critical critical environment, environment, it became it became clear that clear thethat communication the communication focus had focus to involve had to more involve than more selling thanthe selling policy. the policy. ShoutingShouting made room made forroom listening. for listening. Before strategic Before strategic choices choices were made were formade an organisation, for an organisation, dialoguedialogue was was held with held thewith stakeholders the stakeholders concerning concerning the policy the policy decisions decisions to be taken. to beThis taken. allowed This allowed a more structural a more structural and constructive and constructive relationship relationship to be built to be with built thewith target the target groups, groups, and meant andthat meant their that trust their in trust the organisation in the organisation was retained was retained or strengthened. or strengthened. It also enabled It also enabled a stronga strong reputation reputation to be built to be up.built This up. approach This approach requiresrequires a a good knowledge good knowledge of targetofgroups target and groups what and they what findthey find acceptable. acceptable. Studies Studies of standpoints of standpoints and social andissues, social issues, as stated asabove, statedhave above, taken haveontaken an ever on an larger everrole larger in role in communication. communication. Communication Communication and Identity and Identity ThinkingThinking Economic Economic and social anddevelopments social developments have sethave newset new requirements requirements for communication for communication these days. these Although days. Although many organisations many organisations have only have recently only recently realisedrealised that that they canthey no longer can nobypass longer their bypass stakeholders, their stakeholders, and haveand have begun tobegun seek dialogue to seek dialogue with them, withthe them, current the current demanddemand for transparency for transparency and integrity and integrity is forcing is organisations forcing organisations to actually to actually identify identify themselves. themselves. All thoseAllwho those take who take the increasingly the increasingly louder call louder for standards call for standards and values and values seriously seriously will set will up their set up communication their communication differently. differently. The identity The identity of the organisation of the organisation should be should the focus. be the focus. Organisations Organisations should harmonise should harmonise their identity their identity and and ambitionambition with what with thewhat market the and market society and consider society consider legitimate. legitimate. This no longer This nopertains longer pertains to targettogroups target or groups or stakeholders, stakeholders, but rather buttorather society to as society a whole as a(public whole (public opinion)opinion) and particularly and particularly to the market to the in market whichinpeople which people are active. areIncreasingly, active. Increasingly, communication communication is a dynamic is a dynamic processprocess in whichinreality whichisreality produced, is produced, maintained maintained and and adjusted. adjusted. Time andTime again, andprocesses, again, processes, productsproducts and client and client relationsrelations are harmonised, are harmonised, fine-tuned fine-tuned and adjusted and adjusted to to the market, the market, society and society the and requirements the requirements that they that they set. There set.isThere a continual is a continual push andpush pulland between pull between the the organisation organisation and its environment. and its environment. This hasThis obscured has obscured somewhat somewhat the distinction the distinction betweenbetween the organisation the organisation and and
its environment its environment . People .are People continually are continually interacting interacting with with one another one another in their roles in their asroles working as working people, consumers people, consumers and members and members of society. of society. All of these All ofroles these areroles fulfilled are fulfilled simultaneously, simultaneously, so that the so that dialogue the dialogue has shifted has from shifted from being a conversation being a conversation to a process to a process of ‘goingofpublic’. ‘going public’. Companies Companies and institutions and institutions no longer nocommunicate longer communicate only with only their with stakeholders their stakeholders and viceand versa. viceThey versa. areThey are becoming becoming learninglearning organisations organisations that seek that a connection seek a connection with thewith market the through market through continual continual harmonisation harmonisation with with their environment. their environment. PreviousPrevious development development demandsdemands a lot from a lot thefrom the communication communication policy. Itpolicy. must ensure It must that ensure thethat the organisation organisation thinks ahead thinksinahead an intelligent, in an intelligent, creativecreative and and innovative innovative manner.manner. At the same At the time, same thetime, organisation the organisation should bear should in mind bear its in mind own its identity own identity and the and limits thetolimits to it. This means it. Thisthat means thethat analysis the analysis of market of development market development should be should continually be continually linked tolinked encouraging to encouraging internalinternal reflection reflection on that analysis. on that analysis. In short,Incommunication short, communication becomesbecomes a continual, a continual, dynamicdynamic processprocess in whichineveryone which everyone inside the inside organisation the organisation has a role hastoaplay. role As to play. a partAsofa part of this, communication this, communication specialists specialists act as monitors act as monitors and and make a contribution make a contribution to the planning to the planning of scenarios of scenarios inside inside the organisation. the organisation. Thus communication Thus communication shifts from shifts from supporting supporting policy topolicy influencing to influencing it. it. The Importance The Importance of Corporate of Corporate Publishing Publishing A centralA communication central communication messagemessage or proposition or proposition is no is no longer sufficient longer sufficient within this within context. this context. The multiplicity The multiplicity of parties of in parties the environment in the environment around the around organisation the organisation want to want knowto how know it specifically how it specifically serves their serves needs theirorneeds or interests. interests. It requires It requires the identity the identity of the organisation of the organisation to be translated to be translated and made and intelligible made intelligible for eachfor target each target group. Itgroup. is alsoItimportant is also important to inform toeach inform oneeach of them one of them individually individually so that each so that is given, each isand given, hears, andpertinent hears, pertinent information. information. An important An important instrument instrument for achieving for achieving this is corporate this is corporate publishing: publishing: making the making competencies the competencies of an organisation of an organisation accessible accessible to boosttoitsboost reputation its reputation among the among the stakeholders stakeholders and thusand within thusthe within social theand social economic and economic context.context. The market The and market society and dictate society what dictate thewhat needs the needs for theseforcompetencies these competencies are and are in what and in context what context and formand form the organisation the organisation can bestcan provide best provide and communicate and communicate its its competencies. competencies. Instead Instead of focusing of focusing on the primary on the primary processprocess of the of the organisation, organisation, communication communication arises from arises it. from The it. The organisation organisation faces the faces challenge the challenge of translating of translating the the impulsesimpulses and signals and that signals ensue thatfrom ensue thefrom interplay the interplay with with its environment its environment into the into competencies the competencies it provides. it provides. It also It also faces the faces challenge the challenge of communicating of communicating this by making this by making apparentapparent these competencies, these competencies, and its own and its intelligence, own intelligence, creativity creativity and ambition. and ambition. This requires This requires a professional a professional attitudeattitude on the part on the of individual part of individual employees employees who operate who operate daily in the dailymidst in theofmidst the market of the and market are and a part areofa it. part They of it. They are asked aretoasked develop to develop antennae antennae to pick up to on pick what up on is what is currently currently going ongoing or what on or is what potentially is potentially to come.to come.
These signals These are signals not always are not strong, always and strong, so the and so the employees employees must bemust very be familiar very familiar with thewith market the in market order in order to discern to discern them, tothem, interpret to interpret them and them thenand to predict then to predict the impact the that impact they that willthey havewill or have the opportunities or the opportunities they they provide provide to their to organisation. their organisation. The translation The translation of the knowledge of the knowledge and experience and experience that an organisation that an organisation gains in gains this manner in this manner into into communication communication messages messages tailored tailored to each to target each target group isgroup callediscorporate called corporate publishing. publishing. Brochures, Brochures, annual annual reports,reports, newsletters, newsletters, books, the books, Internet, the Internet, multimedia multimedia projects—all projects—all are the result are theofresult publishing. of publishing. The traditional The traditional communication communication disciplines disciplines can no longer can nobe longer approached be approached separately. separately. An integrated An integrated approach approach with co-ordinated with co-ordinated management management is indispensable. is indispensable. The termThe publishing term publishing implies implies dynamics, dynamics, continuity. continuity. And thatAnd is precisely that is precisely what is what calledis called for in the forcurrent in the current situation—continual situation—continual tailor-made tailor-made communication, communication, topical and topical up-to-date. and up-to-date. Communication Communication employees employees have a pivotal have a role pivotal to play rolein tothis, play but in this, for but for the inputthe they input largely they depend largely on depend the specific on the specific market market knowledge knowledge of their of fellow theiremployees fellow employees and the and degree the degree to whichtothey which reveal theyand reveal share andit share with the it with restthe of the rest of the organisation. organisation.
THE CALL THE FOR CALLETHICAL FOR ETHICAL CONDUCT CONDUCT The importance The importance of identity of identity as a starting as a starting point forpoint for the communication, the communication, behaviour behaviour and symbols and symbols of an of an organisation organisation is well established. is well established. Unfortunately, Unfortunately, the the conceptconcept of identity of identity is in danger is in of danger beingof inflated. being inflated. In a In a decliningdeclining economyeconomy it can beitespecially can be especially temptingtempting to adjustto adjust reality somewhat reality somewhat to fit one’s to fit own one’s views ownwithout views without actuallyactually substantiating substantiating them. The them. concept The concept of brandofwas brand a product was a product of economic of economic crisis. An crisis. identity An identity that hasthat beenhas conceived been conceived can display can the display same the narcissistic same narcissistic tendencies. tendencies. But the But the comparison comparison with thewith concept the concept of brandofends brand there. endsThe there. The difference difference today is today that the is that manthe in the manstreet in theknows street knows what a brand what aisbrand and isisnot andconvinced is not convinced when identity when identity is is expressed expressed as an instrument as an instrument of an image of anwhich imagedoes which notdoes not come from come thefrom personality the personality of the organisation of the organisation itself. The itself. The identity identity that hasthat beenhas conceived, been conceived, the identity the identity that hasthat has been used been as used a management as a management tool—we tool—we won’t letwon’t things let things get this get far. this far. The Corporate The Corporate Governance Governance Code in Code the Netherlands in the Netherlands and the and importance the importance of socially of socially responsible responsible businessbusiness practices practices are critical are subjects critical subjects today which todayforce which force companies companies to express to express themselves themselves on matters on matters they they would otherwise would otherwise not talk not about. talkInabout. otherIn words, other words, thinkingthinking in termsinofterms identity of identity has become has become mandatory. mandatory. There isThere absolutely is absolutely no sympathy no sympathy for communication for communication messages messages that arethat not based are notonbased or followed on or followed up by up by proportionate proportionate achievements. achievements. Exorbitant Exorbitant salariessalaries for the for the top management top management of charitable of charitable institutions institutions which are which run are run primarily primarily by volunteers, by volunteers, a government a government body that body spends that spends millionsmillions on furnishing on furnishing the accommodation the accommodation of seniorof senior management, management, failing tofailing include to include certain certain transactions transactions in in
ISSUE MANAGEMENT ISSUE MANAGEMENT Issue management Issue management involvesinvolves analysing analysing issues, followed issues, followed by by actions actions to establish to establish harmonyharmony betweenbetween an organisation an organisation and society. and society. An important An important conceptconcept in theseinissues theseisissues the is the ‘future’.‘future’. Issue management Issue management is largely is focused largely focused on making on making predictions. predictions. Issues are Issues not isolated are not isolated mattersmatters and so do and not so do not arise unexpectedly. arise unexpectedly. Issues develop Issues develop from a trend from or a trend even or even give risegive to it. rise to it. Issue management Issue management is an important is an important functionfunction for organisafor organisations. Intions. part based In partonbased it, things on it,such things as such strategy, as strategy, vision vision and mission and mission are established. are established. Its mostIts important most important functions functions are to: 1.are determine to: 1. determine vision and vision mission; and mission; 2. determine 2. determine positionposition with respect with respect to the organisation’s to the organisation’s environment; environment; 3. formulate 3. formulate strategy; strategy; 4. implement 4. implement strategy; strategy; 5. adjust5. adjust strategy; strategy; 6. evaluate 6. evaluate strategy.strategy. Issue management Issue management is more is more than a task thanfor a task the communication for the communication department. department. It must It must be supported be supported by management by management in an organisation. in an organisation. Large Large organisations organisations such as such Schiphol as Schiphol Airport, Airport, Shell and Shell Dutch and Dutch in this area. in this area. RailwaysRailways particularly particularly employ specialists employ specialists Many PRMany agencies PR agencies also handle alsoissue handle management issue management for theirfor their clients. clients. Reputation Reputation Management Management Reputation Reputation management management concerns concerns systematically systematically workingworking to establish to establish the goodthe name good and name the and famethe of fame a company of a company for all interested for all interested parties, parties, the so-called the so-called stakeholders. stakeholders. Maintaining Maintaining this reputation this reputation is an important is an important motivation motivation for largefor companies large companies to run their to run business their business in a socially in a socially responsible responsible manner.manner.
1 Schematic 1 Schematic representation representation of trends of trends and their and effects their effects on theon business the business worldworld
ProductionProduction period period
Democratisation Democratisation period period
MarketingMarketing period period
Dominant economic Dominant factor economic factor Time Time
Dominant economic Dominant factor economic factor Politics Politics
Dominant economic Dominant factor economic factor Internationalisation Internationalisation of the market of the market
Goal Goal Accelerating Accelerating society forsociety the for the benefit ofbenefit the consumer of the consumer society society
Goal Goal Goal Goal Continuation Continuation of entrepreneurs of entrepreneurs domain domain Controlling Controlling the product theinproduct in different markets different markets
Essence Essence Just-in-time Just-in-time
Essence Essence Acceptance Acceptance of politicalofinfluence political influence
Essence Essence Reproduction Reproduction of quality of = objectivising quality = objectivising
1980s Inflation of the standard
Inflation of the standard Discovery of the brand
Inflation of participation Discovery of the individual
Consequence Consequence Putting power Putting intopower perspective into perspective
Discovery of the brand
Inflation of participation
Inflation of sectarianism Discovery of the individual
Consequence Consequence Putting limits Putting intolimits perspective into perspective
Discovery of the individual
Inflation of sectarianism Socially Socially avant-garde avant-garde
Discovery of the individual
Business world Business world
Consequence Consequence Putting added Putting (instrumental) added (instrumental) value value in perspective in perspective
New standard New standard New standard New standard New standard New standard Demand differentiation for differentiation = individual = individual Demand for Demand for Demand controlfor = public controlinfluence = public influence Demand for Demand the subject for the = subject = quality = fragmentation quality = fragmentation emotionalemotional value = perception value = perception
Figure 1: shows Figure the 1: shows phasesthe of phases the market of the dynamic. market At dynamic. At the beginning the beginning of the product of thelife product cycle (PLC) life cycle the (PLC) the organisation organisation still has anstill exclusive has an exclusive pioneer’s pioneer’s role; fromrole; from the market the introduction market introduction the product thehas product first unlimited has first unlimited and then limited and then growth limited and growth subsequently and subsequently price and price and hyper competition. hyper competition. Half way way, the Halfmargin way, the way onmargin the product on the product begins to begins fall andtothe fallinvestment and the investment potential of potential the of the organisation organisation declines. Where declines. theWhere (dashed) theline (dashed) of line of saturationsaturation intersectsintersects the PLC curve, the PLC is when curve,the is when the shake-outshake-out in the market in the commences. market commences. Just beforeJust thebefore the point where point thewhere difference the difference between the between PLC curve the PLC andcurve and the saturation the saturation line is greatest, line is agreatest, transition a transition to a new to a new standard must standard takemust place.take place. The innovation The innovation moment that moment leadsthat to a leads new product to a newlife product life cycle is crucial cycle for is crucial the paradigm for the paradigm shift: the better shift: the an better an organisation organisation can createcan thecreate moment theofmoment innovation of innovation and and carry it through carry ittothrough the actual to the implementation actual implementation of a new of a new product standard, product standard, the betterthe its better future its is assured. future is assured.
2 Product 2 Product life cycle life cycle and McKinsey’s and McKinsey’s 7xS model 7xS model
Shared values Shared values Strategy Strategy Methodd
Policy focus Policy on focus on
Method S d Structure S Structure
Hyper competition Hyper competition Price competition Price competition Limited growth Limited growth
Unlimited Unlimited growth growth
Paradigm Paradigm shift shift – – – –
Stable innovation Stable innovation Experimentation Experimentation Policy focus Policy on focus on Culture
Skills Staffing Staffing Realism Realism
– – –
Figure 2: McKinsey Figure 2: McKinsey indicates seven indicates dimensions seven dimensions (7xS) (7xS) for lookingfor atlooking an organisation. at an organisation. Shared– Values Shared Values Style Culture, – Styleatmosphere, Culture, atmosphere, style, attitude, style,social attitude, capital social capital Skills Proficiencies – Skills Proficiencies capacities,capacities, levels, competences levels, competences Staff Staffing – Staffhuman Staffing factors, humanco-workers, factors, co-workers, psychological psychological capital capital Strategy – Strategic Strategy Strategic plans, perspective plans, perspective point of view point of view Systems – Methods, Systems Methods, procedures, procedures, functionalfunctional organisation organisation Structures – Structures Structure Structure of forms of ofwork, formsresponsibilities, of work, responsibilities, model model
Communication Communication period period
Identity period Identity period
Ethics period Ethics period
Dominant economic Dominant factor economic factor Relationship Relationship with the client with the client
Dominant economic Dominant factor economic factor Recognition Recognition of the consumer of the consumer
Dominant economic Dominant factor economic factor Awareness Awareness of responsibility of responsibility
Goal Goal Keeping a Keeping grip on markets a grip on markets
Goal Goal Goal Goal Transparency Transparency as proof ofasgenuineness proof of genuineness Self-interest Self-interest is generalisinterest general interest
Essence Essence Information Information provision provision
Essence Essence Essence Essence Internally Internally and externally and externally shown leadership shown leadership Legitimating Legitimating
Inflation of values and standards
Inflation of values and standards Discovery of effect
Discovery of effect
Inflation of Personality Discovery of Consequence
2010s Inflation of Personality
Inflation of Content Discovery of the sender
Discovery of Consequence
Inflation of Content Discovery of the sender
Consequence Consequence Putting information Putting information into perspective into perspective
Consequence Consequence Consequence Consequence ‘License to‘License operate’toinstead operate’ofinstead ‘genuine’ of ‘genuine’Putting the Putting intention the into intention perspective. into perspective. existence existence Ethics becomes Ethics morals becomes and morals deconstructs and deconstructs into different into culturally-charged different culturally-charged concepts. concepts. It therefore It therefore fails as a guiding fails as afactor factor. guiding factor factor.
New standard New standard Demand for Demand identity for= identity genuineness = genuineness
New standard New standard Demand for Demand ethics for = conscience ethics = conscience
New standard New standard Demand for Demand insightfor = effect insight = effect
3 Redefinition 3 Redefinition of culture, of culture, skills skills and staffing and staffing Shared values Shared values
Shared values Shared 2.0values 2.0 Shared values Shared 1.0values 1.0 Strategy Strategy Method
InteractionInteraction between business between business world andworld socially and avant-garde socially avant-garde Method Structure Structure
Paradigm Paradigm change business changecommunity business community
Hyper competition Hyper competition Margin development Margin development
Price competition Price competition
SaturationSaturation of the market of the market Limited growth Limited growth
InnovationInnovation dynamics/rhythm dynamics/rhythm of paradigm of paradigm change change CorporateCorporate identity identity
Unlimited Unlimited growth growth
Stable innovation Stable innovation Experimentation Experimentation Culture
Skills Staffing Staffing Realism Realism
financialfinancial statements, statements, doing business doing business with governments with governments that could that not could carenot lesscare about lesshuman aboutrights, humantransferring rights, transferring pollution-producing pollution-producing production production processes processes to developing to developing countries: countries: we call on wegovernments call on governments and organisations and organisations to account to account for themselves for themselves if their communication if their communication is not backed is not up backed by corresponding up by corresponding achievements. achievements. AlthoughAlthough there are there always are companies always companies and government and government organisations organisations that would thatlike would to slip likethrough to slip through unnoticed, unnoticed, we demand we demand integrityintegrity from them from and them holdand a trump hold acard: trump card: the call the for standards call for standards and values, and for values, integrity for integrity even in even in business. business.
SOCIAL INNOVATION SOCIAL INNOVATION Economic Economic growth growth in the Netherlands in the Netherlands will increasingly will increasingly have to have be generated to be generated from social frominnovation social innovation instead instead of from of technological from technological innovation innovation as it hasasbeen it has in the been in the past. This past. concerns This concerns innovative innovative organisation organisation models, models, new new forms offorms work,ofstrategic work, strategic leadership, leadership, and the and realisation the realisation that a large that part a large of the partknowledge of the knowledge and expertise and expertise that a that a companycompany needs lies needs withlies its with employees. its employees. A study Aconducted study conducted among 9,000 among organisations 9,000 organisations in in the Netherlands the Netherlands has shown hasthat, shown though that, we though excelwe in excel in developing developing knowledge knowledge in the sciences in the sciences and technology, and technology, we are very we are badvery at recognising bad at recognising knowledge, knowledge, disseminating disseminating it withinitorganisations within organisations and using and it using in the itform in the of form new of new products, products, servicesservices and processes. and processes. Social innovation Social innovation is the reason is the for reason this.for Only this. within Onlyan within an organisational organisational structure structure that works thatwell works does well innovation does innovation have a chance have a of chance success. of success. Not onlyNot should onlyitshould be clear it be clear where an where organisation an organisation stands and stands what and itswhat ambitions its ambitions are—itsare—its processes processes must also must be in also harmony be in harmony with these. with these. The basis The forbasis achieving for achieving this is the thisuse is the of human use ofcapital human capital throughthrough new structures new structures and strategic and strategic leadership. leadership. Employees Employees are no longer are noalonger production a production factor but factor a source but a source of knowledge. of knowledge. That’s why That’s it iswhy smart it isinsmart virtually in virtually all all sectors sectors to employ to people employfrom people a range from aofrange age categories, of age categories, with various with various levels oflevels experience of experience and fromand different from different cultural cultural groups. groups. In a socially In a socially innovative innovative organisation, organisation, the the talents of talents all employees of all employees are optimally are optimally used andused personal and personal motivesmotives are tapped are into. tapped into. If the personal If the personal ambitions ambitions and the and ambitions the ambitions of the of the organisation organisation complement complement each other, eachthis other, creates this creates a win-win a win-win situationsituation that produces that produces successsuccess for bothfor both parties. parties. Audrie van Audrie Veenvan Veen
From Identity From Identity to Integrity to Integrity Even though Even many thoughcompanies many companies were interested were interested until until recentlyrecently only in the onlyopinions in the opinions of their of shareholders, their shareholders, these days these they days have they to have satisfy to all satisfy of society. all of society. For some For some organisations organisations this is simply this isasimply mattera of matter logic.ofFor logic. others For others it requires it requires making making radical changes radical changes to their to operations. their operations. A good reputation A good reputation is essential. is essential. A good reputation A good reputation builds on builds itself,onbut itself, is not butsimply is notasimply mattera of matter good of good communication. communication. The performance The performance of an organisation of an organisation is inextricably is inextricably linked with linked itswith reputation. its reputation. The twoThe go two go hand in hand hand.inThis hand. is what This is wewhat havewe learnt havefrom learnt brand from brand thinking:thinking: perception perception management management is a trickispeople a trick no people no longer fall longer for. fall for. We will We no longer will nobe longer satisfied be satisfied when anwhen organisation an organisation says, ‘Trust says,us’. ‘Trust We us’. will We say,will ‘Show say,us’ ‘Show and ‘Prove us’ and ‘Prove it’. Earning it’. Earning the trust the oftrust thoseofwho those determine who determine the the reputation reputation of a company of a company will in the willend in the require end require openness openness and interaction and interaction with this with environment this environment as as a condition a condition for being forseen being as seen an organisation as an organisation that that has integrity. has integrity. The distance The distance betweenbetween a company a company and and its environment its environment is becoming is becoming obscured. obscured. In orderInfororder for companies companies to standtocloser standtocloser the environment to the environment around around them, tothem, maketo closer makecontact closer contact with society, with society, networks networks will takewill on take an increasingly on an increasingly larger role. larger Companies role. Companies are are developing developing feelers for feelers whatfor is what goingisongoing in society on in society via via contactscontacts with people with everywhere. people everywhere. The network The network conceptconcept that is gradually that is gradually taking the taking stage thewill stage onlywill grow only grow stronger. stronger. The distance The distance betweenbetween society society and companies and companies is beingis being further further reducedreduced by the gap by the thatgap hasthat been has created been created by by a retreating a retreating government government and the and manner the manner in whichin which companies companies and people and carry peopleout carry the out tasks theleft tasks behind. left behind. A A new division new division of responsibilities of responsibilities has come has about comeamong about among government, government, the market the market and the and citizen. the citizen. CitizensCitizens and and companies companies are expected are expected to maketo a contribution make a contribution to the to the welfarewelfare and prosperity and prosperity of the general of the general population. population. This This turns companies turns companies into social intopartners social partners of the government of the government and citizens. and citizens. And theAnd government the government sees thesees risethe in the rise in the call for ethical call for behaviour ethical behaviour and values andas values a starting as a starting point point for economic for economic actions.actions. There are There therefore are therefore different different approaches approaches that canthat be can be taken with taken respect with respect to usingtostandards using standards and values andas values a as a
startingstarting point topoint increase to increase our ‘gross oursocial ‘grossproduct’, social product’, but but it makesitethics makesaethics ‘hot’ item. a ‘hot’ Asitem. citizens, As citizens, we increasingly we increasingly turn—led turn—led to someto degree some by degree the media—to by the media—to businessbusiness and government. and government. We think We it think is important it is important for standards for standards and values andto values be incorporated to be incorporated into theinto waythe in which way in which an organisation an organisation goes about goesits about business. its business. Especially Especially since some since ofsome theseoftasks theseused tasks to used be handled to be handled by by government. government. We want We operations want operations in all layers in alloflayers the of the organisation—not organisation—not only in the onlywords in theofwords the CEO—to of the CEO—to be ethical. be ethical. We want We everyone want everyone to bear responsibility to bear responsibility for theirfor role their within rolethe within organisation the organisation and for and the for the responsibilities responsibilities the organisation the organisation bears. bears.
Facing the Facing Consequences the Consequences Total transparency Total transparency and an organisation and an organisation that engages that engages in in dialoguedialogue will leadwill to highly lead toefficient highly efficient and flexible and group flexible group processes processes within and within outside and outside organisations. organisations. This change This change providesprovides the idealthe context ideal context in whichintowhich achieve to achieve innovation innovation and creativity. and creativity. Knowledge Knowledge will be optimally will be optimally shared and shared and used, processes used, processes will run will faster runand faster more and dynamically, more dynamically, and developments and developments will proceed will proceed more rapidly more based rapidlyonbased on new organisational new organisational structures. structures. Investors Investors will not will hesitate not hesitate to investtoininvest such organisations, in such organisations, which will which havewill a good have a good reputation reputation with other with stakeholders other stakeholders and among andthe among public. the public. Organisations Organisations will thuswill go thus from go strength from strength to strength. to strength.
The roleThe of the roleCEO of the here CEO as here the standardbearer as the standardbearer of and of and the spokesperson the spokesperson for the organisation for the organisation in imitation in imitation of of large American large American companies companies is now playing is now playing itself out. itself Weout. We do not want do not a single want apersonification single personification of the organisation of the organisation but the but totalthe one total andone integral and integral accountability. accountability. Hiding Hiding behind the behind CEOthe or the CEOproposition or the proposition of the organisation of the organisation will be awill thing be of a thing the past. of the past.
Discovering Discovering the Impact the Impact The newThe organisation new organisation of companies of companies and the and coincidence the coincidence of companies of companies and society, and society, citizens citizens and employees and employees will will not be innot dispute. be in dispute. They willThey takewill their take own their paths ownand paths and prove themselves. prove themselves. We do expect We dovalues expecttovalues be discussed to be discussed as guidelines. as guidelines. We alsoWe expect alsothem expect to them be subject to be subject to to inflationinflation since, insince, practice, in practice, they willthey run will up against run up against too much too resistance. much resistance. This inflation This inflation will ensue willfrom ensue from the actions the actions of individuals. of individuals. Though large Though groups large of groups the of the population population will initially will initially not object, not aobject, number a number of pundits of pundits will fan will the discussion fan the discussion and findand more find and more more and support more support for theirfor views. their views.
This entire Thissituation entire situation requiresrequires organisations organisations to change to change their operations. their operations. The organisations The organisations of the future of thewill future be will be value-directed. value-directed. Management Management will trust will the trust employees the employees to give disciplined to give disciplined shape toshape the organisation’s to the organisation’s core core values. Accountability values. Accountability will thuswill reach thusthe reach lower the lower echelonsechelons of the organisation. of the organisation. The organisation The organisation will become will become transparent transparent at all of at itsall layers. of its And layers. in And in exchange, exchange, we will we givewill organisations give organisations our trust our and trust theyand they will be given will bethe given necessary the necessary license to license operate. to operate. On the other On thehand, otherwe hand, can we be held can be accountable held accountable becausebecause we too are we atoo part areofa one partorofmore one or networks more networks in in which the which responsibilities the responsibilities we bearwe arebear value-driven. are value-driven. The debate The reaches debate reaches far and far wide—responsibilities and wide—responsibilities are borne areand borne accounted and accounted for at every for atlevel. every This level. willThis will gradually gradually remove remove the division the division betweenbetween companies companies and and society society entirely.entirely. Each of Each us fulfils of usdifferent fulfils different roles in roles our in our lives—our lives—our role as arole citizen, as a citizen, as a consumer as a consumer and as aand as a workingworking person—and person—and it is at that it is level at that that level discussion that discussion will takewill place. takeThis place. discussion This discussion is no longer is nobetween longer between citizenscitizens and companies, and companies, but among but citizens among citizens themselves. themselves. CitizensCitizens who take who on take theseondifferent these different roles, who roles, must who must be accountable be accountable and explain and explain themselves themselves in the roles, in the roles, and force and one force another one another to be transparent, to be transparent, honest and honest and efficient. efficient. All of this Allwill of this reduce will the reduce sizethe of organisations. size of organisations. The The requiredrequired value-driven value-driven transparency transparency calls forcalls flexible for flexible and efficiently and efficiently organised organised organisations. organisations. The demands The demands of clients of will clients guide willthe guide processes the processes around which aroundawhich a networknetwork of small,ofstructured small, structured groups will groups form will and form be and be active. The active. work The supply workwill supply fluctuate will fluctuate sharply sharply with with the demand. the demand. Work will Work require will require more time more in some time in some weeks than weeks it does than in it does otherinweeks. other Employees weeks. Employees will bearwill bear responsibility responsibility for organising for organising their own their time own fortime this for this work. Over work. time, Over this time, canthis alsocan be done also be in done various in various work work environments environments by each by person. each person.
In the end, In the ethics end,will ethics degenerate will degenerate into morality. into morality. BecauseBecause of an inflexible, of an inflexible, subjective subjective interpretation, interpretation, values will values will become become norms, and norms, thatand willthat spellwill thespell end the of ethics end ofasethics as a guiding a guiding factor. Because factor. Because of the tendency of the tendency to interpret to interpret them subjectively, them subjectively, ethics are ethics often are counter-productive often counter-productive in the end, in the leading end, morality leading morality to breaktodown break into down different into different culturally culturally and politically and politically chargedcharged viewpoints viewpoints connected connected to the stages to theof stages economic of economic development development the Netherlands the Netherlands finds itself finds in itself at a given in at moment. a given moment. A focus A onfocus the gap on the gap betweenbetween knowledge-intensive, knowledge-intensive, high-quality high-quality innovative innovative organisations organisations and the and organisations the organisations that relythat on them. rely on them. Individually Individually and within andthe within sub-groups, the sub-groups, people will people will search for search a new forform a new of form realism. of realism. Insight into Insight the into impact the impact this is having this iswill having be awill primary be a primary focus. The focus. extent Theof extent this of this impact will impact formwill theform criterion. the criterion. Ethics are Ethics perhaps are perhaps no longer noeffective. longer effective. But the But the effectiveness effectiveness of increased of increased flexibility flexibility has beenhas shown. been shown. Apart from Apart thefrom discussion the discussion of standards of standards and values and values connected connected to ethics, tothese ethics,organisations these organisations also operate also operate optimally optimally based onbased realism. on realism. Measurability Measurability and objectivity and objectivity have in the haveend in the become end become guidelines guidelines for the economy. for the economy. When standardisation When standardisation makes ethics makescounter-productive ethics counter-productive so that itsodegenerates that it degenerates into issues intoofissues morality of morality and thusand thus incurs substantial incurs substantial resistance, resistance, organisations organisations will not will find not find it difficult it difficult to dispose to dispose of it as aofstarting it as a starting point and point trade and it trade it in for a different in for a different paradigm paradigm based onbased reality onand reality impact. and impact. This willThis herald willaherald new pragmatism: a new pragmatism: he who wins he who is right. wins is right. This articleThis was article adapted wasfrom: adapted ‘Thefrom: Expressive ‘The Expressive Organisation—Working Organisation—Working with Identity,’ withaIdentity,’ publication a publication in 2005 of in the 2005 Society of the and Society Enterprise and Enterprise Foundation. Foundation.
VISIONVISION INVERVIEW INVERVIEW WITH WITH GERT JAN GERTWOUDENBERG, JAN WOUDENBERG, CHAIRMAN CHAIRMAN OF THEOFBOARD THE BOARD OF TBIOF HOLDINGS TBI HOLDINGS
‘I want ‘I want TBI companies TBI companies to be to welcoming be welcoming companies companies wherewhere people people like tolike work to work and take and take the time the to time asktoaask colleague: a colleague: how are howthings are things at home?’ at home?’
to be emulated by TBI inbyour TBIview. in our We view. We of the 120 of the companies, 120 companies, 118 are 118 running are running ‘TBI is a ‘TBI concern is a concern containing containing many oldmany old to be emulated diversity the diversity found within foundTBI. within What TBI. What very well very indeed.’ well indeed.’ OGEM companies. OGEM companies. In 1995 In we1995 began we began like the like we especially we especially value is value the exchange is the exchange of of purchasing purchasing even more even building more building and instaland instalknowledge and the and collaboration the collaboration betweenbetween A Service-Oriented A Service-Oriented Leadership Leadership lation contractors. lation contractors. We noticed We noticed that ourthat ourknowledge the operating the operating companies. companies. SymbolsSymbols play a play‘The a way‘The in which way inTBI which is structured TBI is structured as as operating operating companies companies were sometimes were sometimes too too part in this—we have created have created a TBI logo a TBI logoa network a network organisation organisation also affects also affects small tosmall meet to themeet selection the selection criteria criteria for for part in this—we housefor style, instance. for instance. It was aIt was a the waythe and house andstyle, theway company the company is managed. is managed. This meant Thisthat meant that tenders tenders on largeon projects. large projects. real challenge, real challenge, though. though. All of theAllvarious of the various We do this Wevery do this differently very differently from from it had toitbe had made to be clear made that clear ourthat operating our operating directors directors of the operating of the operating companies companies other construction other construction firms. We firms. haveWe a have a companies companies were a part wereofa apart larger of awhole larger whole gathered gathered around the around tablethe here. table One here. One horizontally horizontally structured structured organisation organisation in in and thatand thisthat larger thiswhole largerhad whole the had power the power the logothe should logobe should red, the be red, other the other which enormous which enormous responsibility responsibility is given is given to carryto out carry suchout projects. such projects. At the time, At the time, thoughtthought preferred blue. Butblue. it did But getit adid process get a process to the operating to the operating companies. companies. Our board Our board we consciously we consciously chose tochose profile toTBI profile as TBI as preferred underway that encouraged that encouraged the different the different of directors of directors communicates communicates directly directly a network a network of companies, of companies, each with each its with its underway construction companies companies to think to about think about with thewith management the management boards of boards the of the own identity. own identity. Throughout Throughout this process, this process, construction themselves themselves as part of as apart larger of awhole. largerAnd whole. And operating operating companies, companies, which can which takecan take we always we maintained always maintained that thethat operating the operating andlogo house andstyle house have style improved have improvedall operational all operational decisions decisions independently. independently. companies companies were thewere foundation the foundation of the of the the logothe the collaboration the collaboration betweenbetween the operating the operating Ten years Ten ago, years TBI ago, had aTBI turnover had a turnover of of concern.concern. They were They free were to set freetheir to set own their own companies. We workWe onwork the internal on the internal 1 . 2 billio1n. 2gu billdioen r sg. uToildaeyr st.hTeodtuaryntohveertur nover course and course takeand independent take independent decisions. decisions.companies. links between our operating our operating companies companiesis 2.0 billion is 2.0euros. billionDuring euros.the During same the same We will We never willimpose never anything impose anything on the on the links between companycompany in otherin ways other asways well. as Wewell. publish We publish a a period, the period, staffthe at staff the holding at the holding operating operating companies companies or try toorimplement try to implement increased from 21 from to 23,21which to 23,shows which shows paper called paperZone called that Zone is sent that is sent increased a TBI culture. a TBI culture. If you ask If you an employee ask an employee of ofcompanycompany TBI, entrepreneurship at TBI, entrepreneurship is is to our clients, our 11,000 our employees 11,000 employees that, at that, J.P. van Eesteren J.P. van Eesteren whetherwhether he would helike would liketo our clients, conducted in the lowest in theechelons lowest echelons of the of the and to other and to stakeholders. other stakeholders. In Zone, In TBIZone, TBI conducted to work to forwork Heijmerink, for Heijmerink, he just might he justsay might say organisation.’ regularly spotlights spotlights social phenomena social phenomena organisation.’ that he would that heprefer wouldnot prefer to. And not that’s to. And that’s regularly facewe in our facework. in ourAnd, work. of course, And, of course, OK with OK us.with All operating us. All operating companies companies that we that ‘A type certain of leadership type of leadership fits withfits with we talk we regularly talk regularly with thewith boards the of boards of ‘A certain have their have own their culture. own culture. Each hasEach its own has its own such a network structure. structure. I call it aI call it a the respective operating operating companies companies such a network particular particular feel, which feel,has which developed has developed the respective service-oriented service-oriented leadership. leadership. In recentIn recent about wehow can work we can together work together better. better. over theover years. theAnd years. something And something that hasthat hasabout how years, members of manyof boards many of boards of Thatfruit. bears Operating fruit. Operating companies companies years, members developed developed naturally naturally is always is better always better That bears directors directors have expressly have expressly profiled profiled that hasthat beenhas conceived been conceived with with voluntarily voluntarily share knowledge share knowledge than something than something themselves in the press. in theThey press. think They they think they or imposed. or imposed. We wantWe to want avoidto becoming avoid becomingeach other. eachWhen other.a When company a company lands a lands a themselves are their doing company their company a good turn a good turn a large impersonal a large impersonal conglomerate. conglomerate. The The project to project build to something build something with which with which are doing so.doing Pureso. rubbish. Pure rubbish. The Board TheofBoard of operating operating companies companies of TBI should of TBIbe should be anotheranother companycompany from ourfrom network our network has hasby doingby Directors Directors at TBI isat there TBI is tothere express to express the the welcoming—places welcoming—places where people wherelike people to like to experience, experience, it doesn’t it doesn’t hesitatehesitate to pick up to pick up not to profile not to profile values ofvalues TBI Holdings, of TBI Holdings, work and work takeand thetake timethe to ask timeato colleague: ask a colleague: the phone. theBut phone. it allBut requires it all requires an enormous an enormous the values theofvalues Gert Jan of Gert Woudenberg Jan Woudenberg or or ‘how are‘how things areatthings home?’ at home?’ amount amount of energy. of energy. So we take So we small take steps. small steps. Klaas Penning. Klaas Penning. TBI Holdings TBI Holdings will simply will simply Still, weStill, are convinced we are convinced it is the itonly is the wayonly way continuecontinue when I leave. when It I leave. is healthy It is healthy to to NetworkNetwork Structure Structure to work:totowork: encourage to encourage our network our network of 120 of 120 put the personal role yourole playyou in its play in its ‘We want ‘We clients want to clients see TBI to Holdings see TBI Holdings as a ascompanies a companies from thefrom bottom the up bottom to work up to work put the personal proper perspective. For me it’s Forall meabout it’s all about modern modern networknetwork organisation organisation made upmade of up together of together and share andknowledge. share knowledge. That is That is proper perspective. the reputation of TBI asofa TBI company. as a company. A A leading,leading, respected respected companies. companies. Companies Companies not hownot it ishow taught it isin taught some in books, someand books, andthe reputation that builds thatand builds fits and out buildings fits out buildings that findthat it important find it important to earn money, to earn money, it goes entirely it goes entirely against against the established the establishedcompanycompany in the proper in themanner. proper manner. BuildingBuilding up such up such but thatbut stillthat attach stillgreat attach value great tovalue otherto otherbrand thinking brand thinking that emphasises that emphasises a reputation and maintaining and maintaining it is a it is a things as things well. as How well. these Howcompanies these companies uniformity, uniformity, yet it works yet itwell works for well us. For for us. Fora reputation long-term affair. Itaffair. shouldItnot should rely not too rely too interpret interpret this is up this to is them. up toI know them.people I know people years we years havewe ranked have among rankedthe among bestthe best long-term any particular on any particular person. person. Reputation Reputation who work who at work Shell at whom ShellI whom have asked I haveinasked incompanies companies when it when comesitto comes our return to our returnmuch onmuch is something is something that youthat haveyou to have earn over to earn over jest: ‘If Ijest: sawed ‘If Iyou sawed in half, you would in half,you would be you be on invested on invested capital. capital. In recent Inyears, recentonly years, only red and red yellow andinside?’ yellow inside?’ That doesn’t That doesn’t need need one director one director has resigned. has resigned. And And
Zone is theZone corporate is the corporate magazine magazine of TBI and of in TBI each and issue in each discusses issue discusses a social theme a social in all theme of itsindimensions, all of its dimensions, such as here: suchhealth as here: care health care
Theme: infrastructure Theme: infrastructure
Theme issue Theme 25 years issueof25TBI years of TBI
the longthe term long because term because these values theseare values are dings benefit dings from benefit what from wewhat do aswe do as anchored anchored in the organisation.’ in the organisation.’ well. This well. is also Thistrue is also in atrue broader in a broader sense: asense: third of a third the profit of theearned profit earned turnover that that Socially SRoecsipaollnysRibelsepBounsinbelessBusiness by TBI—and by TBI—and with ourwith our turnover is a considerable is a considerable sum—goes sum—goes to a to a Practices Practices foundation that uses that it to uses finance it to finance ‘Day in, day ‘Dayout, in, day TBI out, is engaged TBI is engaged with thewith the foundation socially socially relevantrelevant causes. causes. Such as Such a as a urban environment. urban environment. It is the Itcontext is the context student student aid fundaid forfund the children for the children of of in whichinwe which live—day we live—day in, day out. in, day It out. It our employees, our employees, and a subsidy and a subsidy for, say, for, say, involvesinvolves a certaina responsibility. certain responsibility. We We the restoration of buildings of buildings listed aslisted as first have first to have earn atofew earn cents a few with cents ourwith our the restoration historical historical monuments. monuments. The foundation The foundation projects,projects, but withbut a little withmore a little effort more effort anonymously. this anonymously. For us itFor is us it is we can also we can make also sure make that sure ourthat surrounour surroun- does thisdoes
important important that ourthat people ourare people made are made aware that aware TBI that places TBIgreat places value great value on such on things. such When things.that When happens, that happens, our clients ournotice clientsthe notice difference. the difference. Many companies Many companies loudly proclaim loudly proclaim the virtues the of virtues socially of socially responsible responsible businessbusiness practices practices and fill half and of fill half of their annual theirreport annualon report the subject. on the subject. We do the Wereverse: do the reverse: we firstwe want first it want it to become to become embedded embedded in the minds in the minds of our people. of our Only people. then Only willthen we will we considerconsider writing writing about it.’about it.’
In recent years, branding has played a dominant role in the thinking about the relationship between a company and its environment. Whether t...