Incorporating Corporate Identity to Leverage Success
Identity is a concept that applies beyond the realm of an individual—when in place within a company, a strong corporate identity can act as the foundation to success. A recent Gallup survey revealed that only 27% of U.S. employees believe in their company’s organizational values. Without a strong identity, employees and clients may feel lost in a company’s mission, which can affect the health of its corporate culture.
In a 2013 Strategy& survey conducted on company success, findings revealed that companies with a clear identity outperform companies without one. How that identity is formulated, however, isn’t widely agreed upon. The survey found that there was no dominant strategy to equate success.Incidentally, the results showed a mixed range of answers when participants were asked to rate which success drivers were most important. Survey results showed that companies with a stronger identity outperformed companies with relatively weaker identities by 25% in relation to average annual TSR (total shareholder return).
In response to the findings, the CEO of Strategy& said:
Many companies focus too much on the outside when developing their strategy, and don’t combine that market-back perspective with a clear view of what their organization is great at doing. In this survey, as in all the research we’ve done on the topic of value creation, we see that essential advantage lies within. A few differentiating capabilities drive a company’s identity and success.
Harvard Business Review (HBR) advocates three elements to creating a powerful workplace identity: “the value proposition you offer your customers, the capabilities system that allows you to create that value, and the set of products and services that leverages those capabilities and delivers against your value proposition.”
HBR goes on to explore identity, stating that companies striving to keep up in the industry without devising a clear corporate identity often don’t reach their business goals. They suggest that companies figure out the fundamental questions about how best to create value for customers, and then develop strategic imperatives from that point.
“In their run for growth,” says HBR, “companies often wind up serving so many different customer segments and so many different needs with disconnected product groups, capabilities, and strategies that it’s impossible to define what the company is really about.”
Zack Zubin, a writer for India’s Business Today, believes that “The culture of an organization encompasses a collective behavior that forges a unique social identity for the company. It represents the common values and beliefs that set the business aside from its peers and competition.” Corporate culture is an integral component in what makes a company bottom-line performance strong, while also maintaining a healthy workplace environment and corporate identity.
When a company has a clear identity, their vision, mission, and values become well-thought-out parts in a greater machine. And when that machine is put in motion, employees can feel proud to connect themselves with their workplace.
So consider corporate identity like you would your own: it evolves over time and makes up who you are. It’s a hard thing to define, but with careful thought and action, it becomes more stable. With a strong identity and organizational culture in tow, it’s safe to say that these companies are able to achieve a successful and ethical compliance program.
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