Not too long ago, we gathered as a team to discuss a piece of our own brand platform — our personality. It’s something we keep a pulse on to ensure ongoing authenticity. As part of the conversation, we seek input from many angles including employees, partners, clients and prospects.

This particular conversation focused on turning inward. Each team member — from design to accounting — was given the floor to share key descriptors he or she believed sum up our company’s personality. Oversized sticky notes with words ranging from “earnest” to “scrappy” lined the conference room wall. Though we do enjoy one another’s company, the intention of this time stretched far beyond a hokey “bonding” experience.

Why did we ask for feedback from every team member?

1. Doing so protects the integrity of our solution

In reality, our company is shaped by a collection of varying perspectives. To simply run with one person’s opinion doesn’t provide a solution that’s authentic to who we are as a collective organization. Instead, bringing together the sum of many layers creates a more genuine story.

2. Seeking feedback cultivates buy-in

Whatever the ultimate descriptors we select for our refreshed brand platform, we appreciate the fact that our individual opinions were sought out within the process. There’s a sense that each of us had a hand in the final product, even if it differs from our particular point of view.

“People buy into it, even if they don’t necessarily agree with it, because their perspective was sought out and valued, and because they genuinely understand why the decision was made.”

Susan Scott, Fierce Conversations

There is a bit of a caveat on this, though. Buy-in won’t be maintained if follow-through isn’t present. Since we are mid-process of our own discussion, we recognize that follow-through is essential. If nothing is done with all the feedback we gathered in this meeting, trust may be undermined.

The impact of feedback can be seen far beyond our own walls. It regularly pops up with our clients’ brand decisions. Organizations that are willing to invest resources to fully seek out the perspectives of their team reap the greatest buy-in.

Because of this, when making key decisions about your brand, we recommend interviewing as many members of your team as investment allows. With a huge team, one-on-one interviews or individual floor time may not be feasible. Highly intentional surveys or other feedback mechanisms can be beneficial. The important thing is to seek out individual feedback with sincerity, following through and sharing the results with intention.

What decisions need to be made within your team or organization? How can you seek out feedback and generate buy-in?

Resource referenced
Scott, Susan. Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time. New York, NY: Viking, 2002. N. pag. Print.
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