Defining Image, Brand or Reputation

Defining image, brand or reputation: Proactively defining specific characteristics that reflect what an organization stands for – ensuring external and internal consistency.

Successful institutions have to continually transform themselves – shifting provincial thinking toward more integrative and co-creative thinking. They have to strengthen relationships, reduce internal silos and turf wars, establish strategic and market focus, harmonize work practices and increase creativity and teamwork.

While changes such as these could be mandated, successful organizations emphasize how these changes influence and shape the reputation or desired image they are trying to build. For example, if they determine that ‘responsive’ is a characteristic they want to reflect to others. That simple word, responsive, will determine how the organization operates internally and externally. To be responsive, continual improvement would be directed at streamlining work practices, decision-making and attitudes. That word, responsive, would influence who you hire and how you train and reward them – employees will be encouraged, empowered and rewarded to take decisions and act with urgency, breaking down potential barriers.

The point is, there are many ‘words’ that could describe the type of organization (or team) you want to reflect, responsive is just one example. Words like collaborative, compassionate, creative and proactive will each carry a deeper meaning and responsibility, influencing all aspects of an organization, internally, and how they treat customers and build alliances externally. Every organization has an image, good or bad, intentional or not. Successful organizations proactively determine and shape their image; they don’t leave it up to individual interpretation.