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Leadership in a branded world

“Leadership in a Branded World” Salter-Morning & Strange;rd (Leadership) We live In a branded world with so many different brands that It is now important for companies to create a sense of uniqueness about their products; infuse meaning into products. The core activity of corporations has transformed from producing things to producing Images (marketing no longer a supportive function but core of enterprise). Example: Nikkei, Mulberry… Not Just products – image-carrying values. Because organizations have changed Like this – the role of managers Is changing.

Leadership is becoming a matter of creating meaning and values. Not only to customers but to employees -? If they lack meaning. They will not perform well. 4 themes central to the understanding of contemporary leadership practices: 1 . The Epic Dimension In our world with Increasing flows of Information, distance between producers and consumers and growing complexity: meaning has become a scarcity. Managers need to infuse meaning and make sense of the firm and its activities. The way to do this Is by using stones and corporate sagas.

In the “appearances” leaders need to be story- tellers to convey meaning & value to work and products. 2. The Ethical Dimension Increasing demand for companies to legitimate the organization and Its actions, moral issues have become central. CARS, values, ethics, animal rights, equality, diversity… It Is Important to show that the company cares and does things right – otherwise employees and customers will boycott. Leadership becomes art of infusing sustainable values Into corporate life. 3. The Emotional Dimension

No surprise: people have feelings, fantasies, imagination… Employees look for challenges and self-fulfillment, managers for self-actualization and buyers don’t buy cosmetics/cars, they buy hope/self-esteem. Brands are about emotions and companies need to try and build relationships with customers & employees. By providing work environments that open up for emotional side of organizing and offering a sense of belonging, leaders can strengthen a brand. 4. The Esthetics Dimension Functionality not the most important thing anymore: design and esthetics increasingly Important.