Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Posted by Todd Rhoad at 12/7/2007 9:31 AM and is filed under careers
John Kimberly, professor at the Wharton School of Business has released the new book "The Soul of the Corporation: How to manage the identity of your company." In this book, John, along with co-author Hamid Bouchikhi, discuss the power of identity and how it must be managed to ensure success. This is one of the main principles behind the "Blitz Approach" to career success.
To put the problem of identity into perspective, the book looks at McDonald's, an old American favorite, and it's market share in France. McDonald's is the largest franchise in France. It is run by French people, serving French people with supplies that are purchased from French companies. Yet, the French still insist that America is degrading French society. How can this be? They run McDonald's.
In order to understand why the French feel this way, it's pertinent to understand what McDonald's identity is based on. The identity of the company can be based on their brand, mission, components, content, audience, means, or a combination of all of them. At the lowest level, McDonald's in France is definitely French. However, the brand of McDonald's is driven by its origin and original audience; that is, the United States. So, if McDonald's plans to overturn this identity issue in France, they must present the image of McDonald's at its lowest level, which is to say that it serves the French with food prepared by the French purchased from the French.
Now, consider your company and career. What is your identity? What do managers see when they look at you? What do your peers see? What would someone who doesn't even know you see? These are tough questions to answer if you are tackling your career all by yourself. Would a manager really tell you that you don't conduct yourself in a professional manner, dress appropriately for a higher level position, and so on. Most likely, getting real feedback about yourself directly from others won't happen. This is one huge benefit of using the Blitz Approach to your career.
Your Blitz team will help you understand your individual I-Dimension, or Performance Concept (PC) in the Blitz Approach. The members of your team will help you form this concept of yourself as others see it. Remember, to get where you want to go, you first need to know where you are! Your team members will help define you from several perspectives:
1. Top-Down View - this is what those above you see.
2. Plane View - this is what your peers see.
3. Isometric View - this is what someone on the outside would see.
The team gathers information in a strategic manner through social interaction with managers, peers, outsiders and those in the key position of the trust, advice and communication networks. Each view provides vital information that defines who you are. This information is combined to create an image of you. This is your clay to mold in the form you need to be more successful. Don't worry if you aren't an artist. Your team will help you create the proper image.
If you want to move up, you must sell yourself. You are not selling what you see because that may not be what others want. You must sell what people are willing to buy. You and your team will use this Performance Concept to always ensure you are performing at the top of the game (or that others always perceive you are). It's a way of making sure you are always marketable and something that management will want to have.
As with any identity, it must be managed. Your PC map developed by your team will bedocumented and written down so you always have a reference, rather than a vague idea of what people think of you. This image will change as the organization changes and new people come on board. If you want to be a big star, you'll need an image consultant. This is not a problem since you'll have a team of image consultants looking out for you.