Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Joanna Huss - Making Shifts to Stay True To Core Values

In reading Collins and Porras’s Building Your Company’s Vision, I was reminded how important it is to truly develop and understand your company’s core ideology. I recently graduated from the level of “consultant” to business owner with the recent addition of two full-time employees.  I’m quickly feeling like I’m in “sink or swim” mode and trying hard to paddle back to safe waters. In order to do this, I’m developing a strategic plan to help chart a clear future and provide direction for my employees.

The core purposes and values that embody my business came from me and can be summed as an unrelenting drive and passion to help others tell their stories. However, reading this article helped me to recognize the important of drilling down on why such values exist. It’s the case now that I have to think more than ever about paying salaries and insurance. Keeping the lights on is important. But when I think about why I do what I do it’s not – as this article references – all about the dollar bill.

In the days of the Internet and social media – story telling is more important than ever. For non-profits, news on how they are helping others and connecting those stories to influential stakeholders can make the difference of a life saving grant. For entrepreneurs who need startup funding, a big idea that is exploited in the right publication be a great sales piece when they approach investors. I recently finished a meeting with a very well known tech entrepreneur. His particular business has thrived on his ability to understand and perfect search engine optimization. By creating rich content on his company’s social media, he was able to target the post to influencers, get it to go viral and lead to a result in having news organizations pick up the post. Once it went viral – the media caught on.

After this meeting I began to realize that my business strategy and tactics – in order to fulfill my core value of “helping others tell stories” – has to shift. I have to go further than just placing media stories. I have to be able to leverage their reach using digital and social media strategies. As I further develop this strategic plan, it will include the development of a significant digital media component. I will be changing my market to an extent. And as the article states,
“A company should not change its core values in response to market changes; rather, it should change markets, if necessary, to remain true to its core values.”

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