Last week, 8 to 12 August, BR-ND hosted the Supconference 3D 2011. The what? An Unconference during which participants* Dreamed, Dared and Designed (3D) as well as learned the art of Stand Up Paddling (Sup). In between, we brained. A lot. About how to transform organizations towards socially responsible and highly appealing brands that touch people in their humanity. About how to engage employees to work for a shared purpose. About which conventions to break to achieve all this. And we learned. A lot! Here are some of the most important insights upon which we will further (re)design our way of working.
Shhhh… The strategy is a secret! Don’t tell anyone! Why not?! Wouldn’t it be wiser and much more inspiring to be transparent and let the entire organization add to the ideas about the future? In the end, it is the people that have to be the brand. To deliver on the promise and to touch other people in their hearts. Why not involve them in the dialogue, ask for their input and feed back decisions made on the way? Give them the chance to own the strategy, to live the purpose, to create the brand, its name, its logo, its rituals. Yes, the board has final responsibility. And yes, experts have a say too. But why not seize the opportunity to use social technological platforms and gamification dynamics to gather the knowledge and inspiration of many?
Now if you dare to embrace open creation, why not be even more open and involve external stakeholders as well? Ask clients, prospects, and partners for their ideas and feedback. Not after branding scenarios have been conceptualized into a presentable form, but during the concepting phase. When inspiration comes from both internal and external stakeholders, is it even necessary to build scenarios and validate them through research, as we normally do? Or can we stretch ourselves to firmly believe that the shared process has led us to the single best idea?
To better help organizations in their transformation, we need to rethink some of our tools and processes. The ones that lead the team to choosing an appealing mix of human drives that the brand should touch (23plusone) are quite good, if we may so say ourselves... ;) But the ones that lead us to defining the brand portfolio, to the verbal and visual symbolism and to the documentation of the whole story will be improved. To do so, we will dive into real-life games, online apps, and multi-sensory experiences!
Help needed, expertise shared
BR-ND wants to beautify the world by helping organizations find their true purpose and build meaningful, appealing brands. But we are just a small company. We can’t change the world just by ourselves, we need help! That’s why we want to give our expertise and our proven technology to other organizational transformers and brand builders. So they can help their clients make the world a little bit better. For us, it means simplifying and automating our processes and tools so that others can easily use them. Starting with a select group of licensed partners, we will kick off this collaborative initiative soon.
*Thanks to all participants of the Supconference 3D: René Bosch, Ingmar de Lange, Erik Roscam Abbing, Esther van Toledo, Annelies Engel, Olivier van Veen, Jeroen Timmers, Josien Pieters, Thomas Wijnen, Michiel van Beek, Wendelien Daan, Nieske Casteleijn, Elles Koch, Ivo Grupping, Bas Padberg. We loved to have you! Let's follow up on the conversation soon!