Quote of the week
“(B)randing is not advertising, marketing, or PR; branding happens before all of those. First you create the brand, THEN you raise awareness of it.”
— Rob Frankel
The Destination 2020 report, the latest step in the year-long Blueprint 2020 transformation exercise launched by the Clerk, sets out as priorities convincing Canadians that public servants provide value and convincing public servants they are “proud” to work for the federal government.
Experts will say branding represents what can be called the DNA of the organization. The values the organization espouses to its target audiences need to be reflected in the values and behaviours of its employees.
One of the interesting questions is which comes first. One could argue that once an organization decides how it wants to brand itself, it should then train its staff so they understand and can reflect them.
Alternatively, one could build the brand around what exists as the culture and behaviours of those who work in the organization.
There is a third option: encourage employees to change their behaviours and then reflect those new ones in the branding exercise. In this case, the behaviours should be a sign of a transformed public service that is vibrant, innovative, technologically enabled, empowered and engaged.
Engagement is a key desired behavior one has to take away from Blueprint 2020. The year-long exercise engaged employees in an unprecedented, bottom-up exercise used to validate and reinforce the themes the Clerk identified as long as three annual reports ago.
Engagement is also a critical element of the way forward. Through it, the Clerk is reminding all public servants they must be part of the transformation process – own it, in fact – or else it will be done to them. Get involved and lead the way, he seems to be saying. Don’t blame me if this exercise becomes as ineffective as its predecessors.
In developing the brand, the Destination 2020 report calls for engaging public servants using modern techniques to find out “what it means to be a public servant…who we are and what we do.”
In other words, figure out the necessary behaviours to change. Based on them, the brand will be defined and communicated to Canadians and public servants.