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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Looking through the window

Managing one’s brand these days can have the fragility and transparency of glass. The combination of technological revolutions, the growth in individual employees having greater power to exercise personal choice, and rising customer sophistication have resulted in such innovations as Glassdoor and Vault. Employees can comment on company and leadership performance and put it out there for the world to see. CEOs can view their own approval ratings based on employee comments and votes.

Such websites are putting pressure on leaders to be more active in managing their own brand – both their personal brand and also their organization’s brand. Individual communication that may have once been regarded as private one-to-one conversations can now be regarded as essentially public if you factor in the transparency of communications on such social media sites as LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook.

Entrepreneur magazine forecast that the number one marketing trend for 2010 would be transparency and trust. Well, the same applies for leaders.

The ubiquitous nature of technology means that it is always on and inviting participation. It is changing how, where, when and by whom work gets done. It’s about coordination, collaboration and transparency. Leaders need be in tune with the feedback available on these new channels and be proactive with personal and professional brand management. It’s not just about listening to what's being said, but also about actively participating in the discussions.

Use the transparency tools available today to track the sentiment of employees and match these against your own company engagement scores. Assess the feedback on your culture, identify challenges and opportunities and invest in your own leadership development.

With brand transparency what it is today, you never know who may be looking through your window.

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