Organizational persona


Organizational persona

An organizational persona describes an organization’s hard-wired cultural DNA, its personality, which runs much deeper than its exterior profile. In his PowerPoint presentation, Bickford [http://gh.iabc.com/events/top10trends.ppt] says that an organizational persona is:
* Bigger than brand
* More inclusive than Reputation

"Enron had a good reputation and a strong brand. How was its organizational persona?" [http://blogs.iabc.com/chair/archives/2005/06/19/warrens-top-10-trends-and-issues-part-2]

Bickford includes the following concepts in his definition of an organizational persona:
* Transparency
* Accountability
* Disclosure
* Trust
* Integrity
* Good governance
* Social responsibility
* High ethical standards [http://blogs.iabc.com/chair/archives/2005/06/19/warrens-top-10-trends-and-issues-part-2]

It can also include:
* How motivated employees are
* Whether interpersonal relationships are encourage
* How stressful the environment is
* Whether there’s a focus on internal education and coaching
* Whether methodologies are followed rigorously
* How open the organization is to change
* How aggressive it is at selling to and retaining customers
* Whether new technologies are embraced
* How heavily technology is relied upon and used
* How and if performance is measured and rewarded
* Absenteeism: whether it’s voluntary or involuntary
* Whether transferring between roles is encouraged

Who Uses Organizational Personas?

The User Experience, Industrial Design and Product Design communities use Organizational personas to give context to R&D teams they work with. The persona provides information about a business' culture, terminology, artifacts and ways of working.

Other communities that use organizational personas are:
* Communication Professionals
* Business Analysts
* Marketing Organizations

How Businesses use an Organizational persona: Aligning Marketing Strategies with Culture

Organizational personas can help businesses compete by exposing the powerful differentiation that lies within their walls—their cultural DNA, aligned around a set of instinctively preferred, personality–oriented processes. Once they determine that there indeed might be a personality aspect to the way they select, implement and succeed at market-driven processes, they can then become more deliberate in the way they further integrate these processes into their firm’s organizational persona, so that their implementation becomes almost second nature. [http://www.abanet.org/lpm/lpt/articles/mkt11042.html]

Examples

Suzanne Lowe gives the following, brief examples of organizational personas:
* The Prepared Firm Cluster. The Prepared firm cluster of methods appears quite inwardly focused, with a grouping of such internally-oriented programs as training and communication, career management, or leadership development coaching for a firm’s professionals.

* The Flexible firm cluster. This Flexible group of methods appears very externally oriented. It combines initiatives such as the implementation of flexible methodologies and customized techniques to deliver services, requiring or encouraging all personnel to switch roles occasionally, and co-developing or piloting new services with clients.

* The Rule-Bender firm cluster. The Rule-bender cluster of approaches focuses on taking risks and features a grouping of methods like providing free solutions in order to win an assignment, using at-risk revenue arrangements to sell services, and even using warnings and/or disincentives in order to manage a professional’s behavior.

* The Techno-Hunter firm cluster. The Techno-hunter group of methods focuses on aggressive salesmanship and relies heavily on technology, such as using new technologies like extranets or pagers to get closer to clients, increased intelligence-gathering about competitor activities, and the use of non-billable salespeople.

* The Accountability firm cluster. The Accountability group of methods is oriented to preparation and performance. For instance, It uses incentives to encourage a change in professionals’ behavior, adapting performance measures to evaluate professionals’ sensitivity to clients’ needs, or using strategic account management plans. [http://www.abanet.org/lpm/lpt/articles/mkt11042.html]

References

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