Brand – Leader Resilience to Issues of the Day

Michael D. Moberly, Principal, Founder, kpstrat

The intent of this post @ Business Intangible Asset Blog is to prescribe both a strategy and rationale for inclined leaders of SME’s (small-medium size enterprises), mature, maturing, early-stage, or startups, irrespective of sector, to lend their public voice to issues of the day

This prescription is developed through the experiential lens of this business intangible asset strategist and risk mitigator.

Readers of this blog may recognize the underliers – foundations to this prescription are variously embedded in 900+ previous posts this author has published @ ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ on a range of topics-issues related to business things intangible.

When (if) a business leader (representing a public – private sector organization, institution, etc.) brings their experiential perspective to issues of the day (with principled objectivity) that transcends – is not framed (in partisan) political and/or ideological contexts and

  • conveys their business’s roles in, contributions to, and aspirations for the various (local, regional, state, and/or national) communities which their business is present, engages, and relies, along with their operating culture, products, and services, (past, present, and future)…

this can be powerful and legitimate public messaging ala a ‘descriptive advocacy’ for a business and its leadership, more so when the message is thoughtful, objective, personal, apolitical, non-partisan and reflects relevant issues of the day through business things intangible, for example…

  • when-where-how U.S. citizens can exercise their ‘Constitutional right’ to vote in local, state, and national elections.
  • the relevance of (Covid) vaccinations, masking, social-distancing, and return-to-work-eat-worship-educate-shop safely,
  • if – how current – projected climactic experiences – circumstances affect health, air quality, and water for agriculture – food production, housing, employment, travel, outdoor activities, etc.
  • whether – which policies (executive actions – orders, etc.) can – should be
    • considered as logical and rational, ala greatest good, or
    • reacted to via specious misinformation and/or dis-information that disturbs facts/realities, objective science, and history.
  • whether – how, if, and/or the circumstances ‘race history – relations’ is discussed – taught (to whom and by whom).

Experientially, business leader public messages resonate (good, better, best) when not conceived – conveyed as platforms with viral megaphones, rather as opportunities that should – can be considered, pursued, and come with obligations.

Experientially, as well, public voices – messages (conveyed by a business leader) particularly, those which (respectfully, relevantly, and objectively) incorporate issues of the day, can produce benefits (which are quantifiable, qualifiable, near term, and strategic) to – for a leaders’ business, e.g., can bring clarity and transparency to…

  1. hone – strengthen the sustainability of a business’s mission, purpose, brand, and reputation in the communities and customers it serves and relies, and
  2. advance valuable – competitive advantage relationship capital a business has developed (overtime) to-for-with the various communities it serves and relies, i.e.,arrays of customers, clients, consumers, stakeholders, and investors, etc.,

done so with less risk to the messenger and the message.

The (probable) benefits arising from a business leaders’ public messages emerge and accrue (often rapidly) if-when the messenger – message reflect…

  1. audience’s present-day thoughts and/or concerns (ala issues of the day) and
  2. are in sync with the leaders’ demeanor, acumen, their business’s operating culture and local- regional aspirations, which collectively…
  3. lessen conventional presumptions that businesses and their leadership (are fiduciarily obliged to) remain neutral and/or publicly silent regarding issues of the day,
  4. especially those which are already politically – ideologically – emotionally charged, but perhaps perceived as being unrelated and/or tangential to the leaders’ experiential skills to speak – comment about publicly, ala effectively, perhaps amicably address, negotiate, and remediate beyond the confines of the business they are leading.

A larger point here is…business leaders can, if-when receptive – inclined to do so, incorporate (align, compliment) their public messagingwith their operational familiarity withbusiness things intangible, providing they are obvious and relevant to the audience, and which ‘describe-ably’  

  1. underlie – are embedded in their business’s (sustained) effectiveness and successes (locally, regionally, state, and nationally), which
  2. the leader has likely had-some-hand-in their development, introduction, and lucrative – competitive execution.

80+% of most business’s value, sources of revenue, brand, and sustainability lie in – emerge directly from ‘business things intangible’, i.e., various forms, contexts, and applications of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital which converge to create – underlie an effective – lucrative business operating culture…

Collectively, this prescription, is less disputable, i.e., vulnerableat risk to being adversely sliced-diced, maliciously taken-out-of-context, and/or undermined by agenda-ideological driven opponents and pundits (local, regional, state, or national).

= powerful and memorable business messaging potential that incorporates – converges a business’s intangible assets with – to issues of the day.

This prescription is doable, insofar as a framework (strategy – rationale) for business leaders who aspire to attach personal, professional, and/or experiential importance to publicly acknowledging issues of the day

  • rather than presuming an obligatory silence and/or passive neutrality is necessary or should be a leaders’ initial consideration they are obliged to (conventionally) convey publicly.

This very ‘doable framework’ as prescribed – presents less probability (vulnerability – criticality) for business leaders’ public messaging and by extension the business, brands, and reputations they represent, to become…

mired in time consuming, costly, and variously irretrievable – un-recoupable, and irreversible debates…

  • ala what was really said, what wasn’t said, and what was really meant, etc.,
  • ala social media ‘food fights’ which seldom end well, except for those who perhaps wish – seek and endeavor to leverage and store the attention which they expect to glean.

Respectfully, I interpret most business schools as arguing – teaching (as convention) variations of the perspective that business leaders (in most circumstances) are fiduciarily (professionally, personally) obliged to remain silent and/or neutral regarding…

  • issues – realisms of the day, irrespective of the divisive – polarizing effects and conceivable (near term) outcomes same may be endeavoring to influence, unless same materialize as…
  • proposed (state, federal) legislation adverse to a business’s competitive advantage – revenue generation model and mission, or
  • a legal (civil – criminal) action is pursued in which a business and perhaps its leadership are named as defendants.

Not-so-arguably, business leaders receptive to applying this prescription, may influence their business to mitigate, if not wholly avoid either circumstance above.

As always, kpstrat looks forward to reader comments.

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