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The Dotted Line: Organizational Narrative

3c8ecc7f049746d8c70bbd42_306x306The January 2014 issue of The Dotted Line features news + resources for creating your organization’s narrative. A full version is available online. Subscribe to receive future issues in your inbox.

A Story to Tell
Stories spread fast. At lunch tables and cocktail parties, your organizational narrative is being told. Ideally, it’s comprised of inspiring and heartwarming tales of teamwork and innovation that demonstrate how your company is contributing to the greater good of humanity. But if the stories your stakeholders tell are gripe sessions full of vivid examples of redtape and poor leadership, it shouldn’t be a surprise that sales, recruiting and change initiatives are a challenge.

The benefits of creating an organizational narrative extends beyond merely defining your company’s culture (which is very important on its own). The stories also convey the corporate strategy (and make it stick).

Narrative is so powerful that it doesn’t just reflect an organization’s success, it actually dictates it. To revamp your culture or rewrite your destiny, your stories must change.

On the external side, consider replacing spin with a cohesive narrative. Then, watch as audience engagement, brand identity, knowledge sharing and leadership trust skyrocket.

Tips from the Makers of Toy Story
Inject fun and purpose into your stories by following Pixar’s 22 rules of storytelling, complete with familiar images from their most beloved films.

Creating “Liquid Content”
Coca-Cola has set out to make its corporate story fluid and linked so that it flows together to create a comprehensive narrative. Their illustrated strategy shows (and tells) how the company will capture and disseminate the stories that touch lives and propel their brands.

Make the Connection
With the right combination of narrative, messaging and engagement, you can have a Connected Strategy.

A Connect the DOTs Review will jumpstart the process. Inquire today.

The Dotted Line: Authentic Leadership and Branding

9ce9d11aaed145e8d9ba9723_280x280The September 2013 issue of The Dotted Line features news + resources for being an authentic leader. A full version is available online. Subscribe to receive future issues in your inbox.

Authenticity in Leadership & Branding
Being genuine starts with alignment between your strategy and rhetoric. Whether you are the manager of hundreds or the CEO of your cubicle, connecting your intent with your words and actions will increase your effectiveness by building trust and loyalty. 
Leaders who hold tight to their internal compass can’t help but convey their authenticity. At a personal level, you don’t have to brand yourself; you just have to be yourself.

Most companies strive to incorporate authenticity in their image because it’s a basic tenet of the brand promise.

But not always. Buzzfeed compiled a list of 12 brands that aren’t who you think they are. In reality, manufactured authenticity has limited success, just like these brands.

Choose Your Words Carefully
Language is “an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought,” said George Orwell in his seminal piece  On Politics and the English Language.

When Story Meets Reality
Under Armour’s popularity exploded only after its story was told.

When UA’s existing products and technology were matched with marketing that echoed its true essence, a new sports apparel category was created (and so were a lot of people calling themselves “athletes”.)

Putting it Together
For leaders and brands, a Connected Strategy:
– creates consistency
– fulfills the brand promise
– elevates the thoughts and actions of individuals to a higher purpose
and more…

We can help you Connect the DOTs.

The Dotted Line: Branding

e1365688485.24The May 2013 issue of The Dotted Line features news + resources for branding. A full version is available online. Subscribe to receive future issues in your inbox.

Brands are the public face of companies, but the essence of your brand starts with your team. The true brand ambassadors are the  leaders who steer a strategic course, the managers who set policies, the frontline employees who interact with customers, and the back office staff who attend to the details.
When a corporate brand is disconnected from its promise, the root is likely company culture. Avoid disappointing your customers by watching out for these nine eye-opening disconnects.

Weak brands can also lead to unhappy investors. A McKinsey study highlights the impact strong B2B brands can have on financial performance.

Personal Branding
Branding isn’t just for corporations. With a strong personal brand, you can lead without a powerful title.

Brands in Trouble
Favorite brands like TED can stumble if their raging popularity leads to lack of discipline. Harvard Business Review examines how TED regained control of its brand and the TED experience.

When unveiling a new brand or confronting a brand crisis, a  Connected Strategy:
– sets expectations
– focuses attention
– creates alignment
and more…

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