Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Spin and Story, two different things entirely

Yesterday I drove past the BP service station where I normally do business and went to a competitor. In the process I wondered how many people are doing the same, even if unconsciously?

BP’s story of beyond petroleum signaled an intent at least that the giant company was different to the rest and prepared to create a future without oil. Of course because of the Gulf of Mexico disaster, BP’s story now looks like spin and their reputation is in tatters!

Remarkability

Role model companies are such because their story is not spin.
Role model companies differentiate themselves from the rest because they do business in remarkable ways, think Virgin or Cirque du soleil, or any of the companies I have referred to in previous posts.

How we are remarkable is a key to our story however unless there is relevance, remedies, backed up by reputation our story can soon become remarkable for all the wrong reasons or worse spin that we all take to mean as a story without substance.

Relevance

What is your cause? Are you impacting the communities in which your business operates in positive and productive ways? Are your products and services relevant to the needs, expectations, and desires of people? Is all that you do good for our planet? A no answer to any of these questions means you are not 21st century relevant and soon it won’t matter what you do because you will have declining customers and less than the required high levels of engagement from your employees. It is a long way back from here.

Remedies

Do your products and service/s provide solutions to your customers and societies challenges and problems?

Design in its simplest form is the activity of creating solutions
says former Vice President and Chief Designer at Nokia Frank Nuovo.

Are you designing your products and services so that they provide genuine solutions for your customers? And do your products and services provide solutions to societies challenges as well?
As Bjorn Stigson, the President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development says: Business cannot survive in societies that fail.

Reputation

Conducting business in remarkable ways, being relevant, and providing remedies to customers and societies challenges are all reputation builders however what you do in moments of crisis, or when you are under pressure can either enhance or kill your reputation.

BP has so far failed to rise to the occasion. How about you? When the pressure is really on, when trouble is all around you, do you rise to the occasion with your story enhanced or do you need spin to seemingly get you out of your mess?

Remarkability, relevance, remedies, and reputation are all keys to creating and sustaining a compelling story and for me a compelling story is the first thing we need to ensure our businesses stand out from the crowd.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community

PS
Helping organisations to create and sustain compelling stories without spin is in part what I do for a living.
If you live in or can get to Manchester United Kingdom on 7th July I am conducting a low investment high return summit on creating and sustaining compelling stories plus the 7 other components I believe are critical for success in modern business.
Details of Manchester event are here.

To invite me to conduct such a summit for your organisations please visit here.

PSS
Steven Howard asked in a recent blog does BP stand for Biggest Polluter?
Steven also shares some great thoughts on the era of responsibility in his Monday Morning Marketing Memo number 218. You can read it here.
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