Earlier this week I posted When Personal and Corporate Brands Collide, in which I outlined a case study of corporate egotism rearing its ugly head in the face of an employee’s personal brand and public recognition.
We no longer expect “lifer” employees who spend their working career climbing the ranks of one business as the Traditionalists and many Boomers cohorts did. Investing in the coordination and education required to keep these high-profile personal brands “on message” is simply not a sustainable model.
We can’t control individuals the way we control our marketing and PR strategy and spin. Business already has to deal with the unpredictability of consumers’ reaction or response to social engagements that throwing in individuals personalities is simply too high a corporate risk.
While not necessarily a bad thing, people are selfish. We all want what’s best for ourselves and our families. We want to earn a good living and enjoy “the American Dream” of more, more and…oh yes, more. Accepting or encouraging high-profile personal brands within the ranks is simply advertising top talent to your competition.
Let’s face it, individual aspirations don’t align with corporate aspirations. Leadership strategists claim that successful business endeavor to align employee goals with that of the business but how often is this really achieved in the workplace? People have different pressures and realities than their corporate employers. Business doesn’t have the emotional baggage that weighs employees down so real alignment is just a myth that if perpetuated, only serves to distract the business from real progress.
While every strong business requires leaders and followers, too many leaders in the kitchen spoil the proverbial broth. There’s no limit to the number of high-impact personal brands a business can adopt or have imposed on it and frankly, there’s no way to regulate it. Eventually, the individuality of the personas will divide and conquer the brand’s efforts and negatively sway forward momentum.
If we’re to accept a value in retaining high-impact personal brands as employees, we must look past the how of managing them to who is managing them? Corporate-personal brand conflicts in the enterprise’s social streams necessitates greater collaboration and group decision making across multiple departments within the organization from the C-Suite to Marketing to Sales to PR to Human Resources, which we know is a near impossibility in larger corporations.
Feed Your Community, Not Your Ego