How Knowing Their WHY Will Help Tech CEOs Focus More Effectively
The response to a recent blog I wrote on CEOs writing press releases at 3am was tremendous. I got great feedback from CEOs and sales leaders around the world who realized that they needed to offload marketing, and other operational activities, so that they could focus on what they should be doing to drive business. It led to some great conversations from executives who realized they were wasting time on tasks they were performing that were not in the best interest of moving their company forward. I hope it prompted some of them to engage with outsourced human resources, financial management, and other operations resources to allow them to focus on strategic partnerships, growth, and business development.
An intriguing response came from my associate Beth Perl Berman, Certified WHY/Compellications™ Speaker, Writer & Coach. Beth has educated me on the KnowYouWhy approach to capitalizing on both leaders and their team member’s why plus the organizational why in order to fortify – and market – organizations from the inside out.
Beth and I spent some time discussing how knowing your WHY is critical to understanding what to focus on. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation:
FRED DIAMOND: I wrote about how CEOs who are writing press releases at 3am are as focused on what’s important as they should be. What about that blog triggered something in you?
BETH BERMAN: Fred, I think you hit on something that I see every day. I think anyone who plays an outsourced or consulting role sees what you discussed. Some leaders are not focused on their overcoming their most daunting challenge – to connect on a deeper level with all of their audiences. Leaders and marketing professionals have a much broader job to do than ever before.
FD: Agreed! I think a big part of this dilemma comes from the fact that their messaging is not always on point nor crisp enough to be understood in the market.
BB: Yes! To achieve increased productivity and profitability, their messaging must focus first within organizations and then be directed toward their targeted external audiences.
FD: Aha. I agree again. Often times, especially in service driven organizations, internal messaging is sometimes more important that external messaging.
BB: Yes. Organizations need to connect in a meaningfully way, with their own people as well as, externally with their customers, clients, stakeholders, and investors.
FD: Why, no pun intended, is this and what are the risks if it doesn’t happen?
BB: First, there’s turnover. The implications of increasingly high rates of employee turnover are foreboding. Savvy leaders recognize that they need to cultivate a culture where their people are passionate about their work and fully engaged in the company. Understanding their team members’ WHY’s – i.e., why they do what they do, why they think the way they think, how they are hardwired – provides leaders with the intelligence to place employees in (or move them to) the “right seats” – seats that will motivate them to excel.
FD: Okay, I got that. So what are the benefits of knowing this, your WHY
BB: Good question. The marketing payoff occurs in this way: When WHAT they do is aligned with WHY they do it, and to how it contributes to the organizational WHY, employees and team members develop richer passion for their work. They become ambassadors for the organizational cause, articulating and advocating for it at every external touch point. This is a critical factor in today’s market with hundreds of thousands of competing messages.
FD: Okay, I got that as well. So how deep do you need to go?
BB: Looking outward in the context of highly educated audiences who have access to virtually ubiquitous, easily accessible feature and benefit information, organizations must connect on a deeper level. Businesses must create an emotional connection with ideal clients, customers, stakeholders, and investors or risk being commoditized.
FD: I can see where this makes sense for nonprofits. How about for profit entities?
BB: Yes, both nonprofit and for-profit organizations must be authentic in all they do or the online community will swiftly and loudly call them out. Understanding, and then communicating clearly, the organization’s WHY is the path to achieving this authenticity and connecting meaningfully with their various segments.
FD: Great. Is there anything else they’ll get from knowing their WHY?
BB: Yes, the added bonus is that WHY-based organizations have the tools, and “mojo,” to create powerful messaging and brand alignment which translates to increased customer/client spending. Netting this out, when companies and organizations identify and express WHY they do WHAT they do, people sign on. They buy into the cause, they buy into the organization and they become raving internal and external fans.
For more information on how knowing your WHY will help your company communicate more effectively in the market, go to Beth’s Linked In page or the Know Your Why website. You can also learn more about Beth here.