My friend, Pam, visiting from Seattle, inspired a trip to the Grand Central Market and Little Tokyo in downtown LA. When guests ask you about your town, what do you say? What do you show them? What are the stories and pictures that explain who you are? Or, what it means to be an Angeleno, or what is it like to live in Los Angeles?
We often leave it to outsiders to define us. Outsiders say LA has no center, we are superficial, we are all from somewhere else. As a third generation Angeleno, I know that is not true yet I do not speak up for my experience. Perhaps, Angelenos are so supremely confident that what others think doesn’t matter? Or, that our image is kinda cooler than our real life?
Is your company, your corporate culture defined by the outside, too? What are the stories and pictures you would want to share to reinforce those outsider views or introduce your own view of what makes you different and special? Who tells your story about the company when an outsider asks about what it is like to work there? Or what makes you different from your competition? Are your associates telling a story you are proud of when someone asks?
As an experiment, what if you had a competition for the best and worst story and best and worst picture of the company culture? A committee (please include marketing and HR) could spearhead a party to show the pictures and tell the stories and finally give the awards and maybe a roast at the annual company picnic. The leadership team must be present to take the hit and laugh along with the associates. If you do not like some of the stories and pictures, this is a great time to clean up the areas that aren’t working (and not the associate telling the story!). Showing that you listen and address what isn’t working is modeling leadership at the highest level.
Take the best and load it onto your website, your social media outlets and LinkedIn feed. Let it be your stories and pictures that dominate your image.
Interested in Vistage?
Image of Grand Central Market Neon Wall taken by Pamela McGarvey.