Telosity - intentional movement toward Purpose and Authenticity
November 06, 2013
Many of us feel a similar undercurrent in business today – a rising demand for companies to be about something bigger than themselves and to have a real intent to serve others. In other words, companies must go beyond the transaction of just selling services or commodities for profit, and help solve a real problem facing society. And these are not just customer demands - likewise, employees are starting to demand that their work offer similar meaning and allow them to contribute toward addressing social problems. These real demands are changing the nature of business.
Due to some of these same undercurrents of change, brand is in mutation, where the “social license,” is perhaps the most important aspect of the “new brand,” made essential by the digital disruption of social media and the internet, which has given stakeholders (and any other interested persons or group) the capacity to influence or even control a company’s reputation and image from the outside. And so “the brand” is migrating toward the intersection point of a company’s “revealed identity” which is internally chosen, defined and communicated with the “received identity” that is bestowed upon it by those outside it, composed of their collective voices, opinions and desires regarding the “revealed identity.” Meanwhile, company culture is undergoing similar mutation, massaged by the central demands of a new cohort entering the workforce, who have at their disposal the very same tools, alongside the growing importance of employee engagement, team-focused working environments, and other foundational changes to the nature of work.
So, how is a company to confront the new reality foreshadowed by these tremors of change? By knowing and stating its meaningful Purpose, and by actively and authentically living it out. A task which can be accomplished through the coordinated, congruent, authentic movement of Brand and Culture, which is where the Purpose is best and most clearly expressed to customers, employees and the wider society. In the new age of customer interaction, where a company must cultivate emotional loyalty (and perhaps even the beginnings of a relationship) with its “customers” and stakeholders, then its outward identity, or Brand, must be informed by a (worthy) Purpose, and its inward identity, or Culture, must reflect that Purpose as well.
When all three elements – Purpose, Brand and Culture - begin to function together in the same direction, we call this coordinated movement, Telosity – the intentional movement of an organization toward “living out” a meaningful Purpose expressed with Authenticity through Brand and Culture.