Preaching to the choir could be good strategy

January 30, 2013
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Call it culture-powered marketing or internal marketing or just good business. Whatever the label, it makes sense for organizations to cultivate a work environment where employees rally around a shared objective.

After all, a satisfied staff is a crucial part of a successful business.

“Start the culture and experiences with the employees, and they will create and deliver (or ‘market’) them to the customers,” consultant David “Doc” Vik told me for an IBJ story published Jan. 26. Vik, who coached workers at online shoe retailer Zappos.com, wrote a book on corporate culture set to be released next month.(Culture is so important to Zappos that the Nevada-based company offers new hires $4,000 to quit during training, figuring anyone who takes the money isn't a good fit.)

Local entrepreneur Jeb Banner put the power-of-culture theory into practice last year at his Web marketing firm SmallBox. Now he is hoping to share what his team has learned with other companies looking to cure what ails them.

“Unhealthy organizations have an unhealthy voice,” he said. “That’s hard to market.”

Banner advocates identifying and articulating a vision, then empowering employees to paint that picture for the public.

“Do you have workers or believers?” he asked.

Without a clear purpose—and it has to be something more meaningful than “to make money”—organizations can find themselves embroiled in an internal tug-of-war, agreed Kevin Bailey, co-founder of Indianapolis-based Slingshot SEO.

“If a business simply exists to make a profit, there are going to be different opinions about how to go about doing that,” said Bailey, a Banner friend and client. “People line up on both sides of the rope, and you end up in organizational limbo.”

But when everyone pulls in the same direction, he said, the result is powerful.

“This stuff is much more holistic than just marketing,” Bailey said. “It’s good for the organization at a root level.”

It certainly has been for SmallBox, which posted record revenue in 2012 and expects to improve upon it this year—in part by offering “organizational health” consulting services.

“We’re shifting our approach, going deeper into businesses and having conversations about leadership and goals,” Banner said. “This isn’t easy stuff. If it was, everyone would do it.”

What do you think about the idea? Could your business benefit from an organizational checkup or a culture booster? Join the conversation below.
 

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Fitting in with culture is integral to success
    A match between team members and company culture is immensely important. No matter how skilled or talented an employee is, they nor their employer will benefit long-term if cultural behaviors don't align. At xiik, we've found a simple preliminary step to use with potential hires before offering them a position: Take them to lunch or a casual event with the team. Many who end up being hired are likely nervous at first, as I was, but can fit in relatively quickly and even make new friends if there's a true cultural connection.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Socialized medicine works great for white people in Scandanavia. It works well in Costa Rica for a population that is partly white and partly mestizo. I don't really see Obamacare as something aimed against whites. I think that is a Republican canard designed to elicit support from white people for republican candidates who don't care about them any more than democrats care about the non-whites they pander to with their phony maneuvers. But what is different between Costa Rica nd the Scandanavian nations on one hand and the US on the other? SIZE. Maybe the US is just too damn big. Maybe it just needs to be divided into smaller self governing pieces like when the old Holy Roman Empire was dismantled. Maybe we are always trying the same set of solutions for different kinds of people as if we were all the same. Oh-- I know-- that is liberal dogma, that we are all the same. Which is the most idiotic American notion going right back to the propaganda of 1776. All men are different and their differences are myriad and that which is different is not equal. The state which pretends men are all the same is going to force men to be the same. That is what America does here, that is what we do in our stupid overseas wars, that is how we destroy true diversity and true difference, and we are all as different groups of folks, feeling the pains of how capitalism is grinding us down into equally insignificant proletarian microconsumers with no other identity whether we like it or not. And the Marxists had this much right about the War of Independence: it was fundamentally a war of capitalist against feudal systems. America has been about big money since day one and whatever gets in the way is crushed. Health care is just another market and Obamacare, to the extent that it Rationalizes and makes more uniform a market which should actually be really different in nature and delivery from place to place-- well that will serve the interests of the biggest capitalist stakeholders in health care which is not Walmart for Gosh Sakes it is the INSURANCE INDUSTRY. CUI BONO Obamacare? The insurance industry. So republicans drop the delusion pro capitalist scales from your eyes this has almost nothing to do with race or "socialism" it has to do mostly with what the INSURANCE INDUSTRY wants to have happen in order to make their lives and profits easier.

  2. Read the article - the reason they can't justify staying is they have too many medicare/medicaid patients and the re-imbursements for transporting these patient is so low.

  3. I would not vote for Bayh if he did run. I also wouldn't vote for Pence. My guess is that Bayh does not have the stomach to oppose persons on the far left or far right. Also, outside of capitalizing on his time as U. S. Senator (and his wife's time as a board member to several companies) I don't know if he is willing to fight for anything. If people who claim to be in the middle walk away from fights with the right and left wing, what are we left with? Extremes. It's probably best for Bayh if he does not have the stomach for the fight but the result is no middle ground.

  4. JK - I meant that the results don't ring true. I also questioned the 10-year-old study because so much in the "health care system" has changed since the study was made. Moreover, it was hard to get to any overall conclusion or observation with the article. But....don't be defensive given my comments; I still think you do the best job of any journalist in the area shedding light and insight on important health care issues.

  5. Probably a good idea he doesn't run. I for one do not want someone who lives in VIRGINIA to be the governor. He gave it some thought, but he likes Virginia too much. What a name I cannot say on this site! The way these people think and operate amuses me.

ADVERTISEMENT