Monday, December 5, 2011

Branding and communications

My wife works in Britain's National Health Service and today showed me the Person Specification for a role that NHS recruitment is seeking to fill. One of the bullet-point requirements in the 'Leadership Essence' section simply reads 'Clear personal brand' (while another is, 'Ability to use different leadership styles as and when required;' still another, 'Integrity, genuineness and trustworthiness in all interactions').

This was in stark contrast to another organization I worked with recently. They want to overhaul their web and other communications, but show little appreciation of branding, still less the way that communications styles support or detract from strategic leadership.

There are undoubtedly arguments that branding is over-stated and too-widely prioritised, but I still found it encouraging that one of the UK's biggest public-sector employers is demonstrating an appreciation of how branding can complement other skills to bolster leadership effectiveness.

Situational leadership is a critical skill to deploy when influencing teams to excel beyond the ordinary. And how encouraging to see the Person Spec. emphasizing the importance of integrity.

Expect further transfer of ideas and skills between private and public sector as cost-cutting forces transformation of traditional ways of doing things: other aspects of this same job specification call for demonstrable experience of entrepreneurialism and managing complex change, process improvement and high performance culture to set up a new public sector venture with 'commercial strength and clear strategy.' Fabulous!
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