Category: Brand

Olympic Torch Relay Day 65

On the Olympic Torch’s second day in the capital city, with only 5 days until the opening ceremony, it passed by the TPC office in Hornchurch. The torch has been travelling right round the British Isles since 19th May and will be carried by 8000 individuals who have been nominated by their communities as inspirational people. It really is a moment for each of them to shine (as the relay slogan declares). I’ve watched several of them run their leg and it was great to see them carry the torch with their own style. Some just walked, others sprinted, some danced, skipped, flipped, rode a bike or a horse. The zip wires and helicopter landings were left for the professionals to carry out. We were lucky that the weather was splendid for our leg of the relay, and the crowds came out to line the streets of the town centre. In a flash the relay passed through, but the parties started early and ran on for several hours.


The excitement in the Capital is building up, and although we have the usual last minute panics (security) and hissy fits (border staff and train drivers), I think it is amazing how much has been achieved without any obvious fuss at all. The various new stadia that have been built at Stratford East London look stunning, and promise a great audience experience. The sand has been imported into Horseguards Parade for the Beach Volley Ball and the Olympic Traffic Lanes have all been marked up. Although getting around the capital will probably be difficult, that is nothing new for London commuters. We’ve just all got our fingers crossed that the torrential rain we have suffered over the past 3-4 months will hold off until the middle of August.

The opening ceremony is shrouded in secrecy, but is billed as being a celebration of things British. Danny Boyle, the producer famous for Slumdog Millionaire is in charge of the proceedings, so it will be thoughtfully done, I’m sure.

We’ll be reporting our reflections on the proceedings from time to time. Can’t promise it will be unbiased, I’m afraid, but it will be our point of view.

Madeleine McGrath posted this on July 22, 2012, in Brand.
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No one likes a Show-Off!!

The concept of ‘Brand You’ (BY) is yet another example of Tom Peters being way ahead of his time. The importance of individuals seeing themselves as a business-unit-of-one has been present in his writing since the book Liberation Management in 1992, but the first published reference to Brand You that I am aware of was in his 1997 Fast Company article entitled The Brand Called You. Two years later, the Brand You 50 List (1999) went much further, giving aspiring Michealangelos a comprehensive, if rather unstructured, set of guidelines for developing themselves and their reputation. More recently, The Little Big Things (2010) is full of ideas for budding Brand Yous. 

As ever with ideas that are fresh off the drawing board, Tom Peters Company’s (2001) Brand You workshop was attractive mostly to early adopters in the market. From the outset, BY has appealed to the individual, and I’ve seen a lot evidence of it being taken and applied energetically by people in all walks of life. Any number of people have told me that Tom’s work on BY encouraged them to follow their personal ambitions and for some it even changed their lives.

But companies have been altogether more resistant to the concept; why would a company encourage its people to develop distinctiveness and then go out and promote themselves to their network? Surely this simply makes it more likely that their best people will be snapped up by the competition?

That was then, but so much has changed in the meantime; technology, society, emerging markets, global recession etc. etc. The Feb 2012 edition of Fast Company included an article entitled “This Is Generation Flux: Meet The Pioneers Of The New (And Chaotic) Frontier Of Business” that brings the debate up-to-date. It seems that a new generation of employees is only too well aware of the need to develop and hone their skills to cope with the ever-changing world of work. So I was delighted that our South African partners, Business Results Group, managed to find a big company client for their first foray into their market with the TPC Brand You Workshop. The client is an internal business improvement function in a large multinational company that has had much success in the first few years of its existence. The boss is keen that they don’t rest on their laurels, and sees BY as a way to consolidate and to build on the new function’s reputation through the developing and promoting the expertise of their individual professionals.

Our latest version of the BY workshop has been brought up to date to acknowledge the many attitudinal, economic and technological changes that have come about in recent years. During last month’s workshop in South Africa, we found that participants saw that Brand You was a fabulous tool for them as professionals to build their personal reputation both inside and outside the company. They were also glad to have the chance to take more control of their careers and what is being said about them.

I’ve been mulling over what it takes for a company to see the benefit of its people embracing BY concepts and I’ve concluded what it boils down to is that fewer and fewer companies these days are offering their employees a job for life. Companies just can’t make that kind of promise to their people, because so little is certain. So the next best thing a company can do is to help to ensure that their people are employable for life. Ironically those companies that make this kind of commitment may well gain the loyalty of their people even however long their stay with the company.

Madeleine McGrath posted this on July 6, 2012, in Brand.
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