Brand U Work in the Disruption Economy

Posts in category Products

Personal Branding Equation

Personal Branding = Perceived Quality plus Strategic Awareness plus Singular Distinction.

David Shore formula in “Workweek,” Wall Street Journal,

Brand U Failure

Your Brand U does not come without pain. Designing your personal brand takes time and much trial/error until you find your personal voice or calling and distill it into your personal Brand U. Think about it? Smart failure is one of the best predictors of Brand U success. It also guarantees employability in today’s economy. Sound preposterous?

Try this on for size? With failure, I’ve learned humility, diligence, and openness. I’ve tried not to make the same mistake twice. The only caveat is that I’ve tried to learn from my mistakes and be a one-trial learner from my failures. In other words, Brand U’s don’t want to perpetuate failure.

Brand U Skills

As the marketplace, customers, and companies change, what communicates core values or a sense of who you are? The answer is personal branding. A personal brand tells people who you are, what you can do, and what they can count on from you. It becomes part of your character and personality.

  • Brand U perceived quality: Customers know you provide value and high quality work. You’re the go-to person. You know your ‘core competencies’ and you deliver on your promises. For example, our firm has 5 core management competencies: project management; process management; supply chain management; communications management and personal change management (Brand U).
  • Brand U associations: Customers associate you with signature projects. They know how you’ve built and managed your personal brand, your Brand U and can count on you for future success.

How Brand U’s Add Value

  • Being totally objective
  • Knowing their subject matter very well
  • Knowing in-depth a particular industry or field
  • Bringing lateral or creative thinking to the subject
  • Providing confidential counsel[i]

[i] Career Guide – Management Consulting, Harvard Business School Press, 1997, p. 6.

You Are a Product

You are your first product, so positioning yourself in the market as an individual is extremely important.

Portia Isaacson, Founder Future Computing

Brand U Power

Our employer or customer now wants to develop killer new products but needs our commitment, inspiration, and loyalty. Many Brand U’s already feel crunched having to do more with less. And, Brand U’s are now asked to commit and contribute to an organization that may have fired our best friend.

There’s a point of diminishing and finally no return when transformational survivors say ‘go figure’ when they’re asked to contribute their hearts and souls to an enterprise with ever changing rules and expectations. Or, the Brand U may want to commercialize the idea on his or her own.

Brand U Burn Out

  • Boredom
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Withdrawn
  • Absence
  • Sick days
  • Alcohol/substance usage
  • Ennui

Finding Your Core Competency

What does success have to do with smarts? I know middling intelligent people who’ve made it big. Some wrote best-selling mystery books, designed killer products, or sold real estate. Some of these folks seemed like they belonged in Densa not Mensa, the genius organization.

Each Brand U has one or multiple core competencies or practices. Smart Brand U’s learn to identify, develop, and capitalize on them.

Accountability is Alive and Well

Entitlement is dead – accountability is alive and well. As Brand U’s, we’re responsible for the performance of our process, function, activity, team, plant, or company. Performance management is a direct outcome of self-management and self managed teams. Senior management looked to functional management to operationalize the corporate strategic vision, mission, plans, objectives, etc. Each Brand U is now expected to know how his or her contributions fit into the organization’s goals.

As well, there’s a direct win for us. More companies link pay directly to Brand U competencies, abilities, and behaviors that directly affect business performance. Linking our compensation to organizational, business unit, and team performance is seen as the way to motivate us. It’s simple old-fashioned psychology. If we’re paid for our Brand U value, our attention and motivation will naturally follow.

Do Computers Make Us Smarter

Computer and information technology makes data more available but it doesn’t necessarily make us smarter or help us make smarter decisions. We have access to data, but don’t know what it means or how it should be used.

Technology can also overwhelm us. New hardware, software, virtual ware and who knows what ‘ware’ can be imposed on us. While senior management sees technology as a performance enhancer, we can develop tension and technology phobias. It can become a curse when we have to learn and develop new technical skills almost continuously.