The Real Barriers to Nurturing Emotionally Engaged Employees

Why CSR Communication Goal Should be Impact, not More Information

What is CSR Communication? And what is the purpose if it is not about creating action and change? Too many CSR communication efforts today strive for the minimum and “just enough” to get noticed for their efforts. Given the amount of investment in CSR, isn't it time we expect greater results than just more information?

Why Social Media IS Professional Development

    "Communication" is Key! Communications has a bad rap. Long (and wrongly) suffering a “soft skill” or lower priority taint, it – at the same time – is considered a key leadership strength. What? The disconnect has harmed the practice, and even seeing it as a “practice” or separate role has harmed the integration of communication into EVERYONE’s job.  Not to discount at all the importance of deeply trained marketing and communications professionals, but the power of their work is only further enhanced by more corporate leaders who can authentically (and comfortably) contribute. Leading via Social Therein lies the ...

Moving FROM Marketing Communication TO Social Currency

This is the 7th and final post of our 7 part post series regarding the humanizing of brand stories. It explores why not all brand stories are created equal. Nor do they have the same social value. The social currency value of content and value of a story will ultimately depend on the perceived authenticity of the story itself, and the share of human versus manufactured voice, within brand communication.

Evolving Storytelling From Product and Process to Promise and Purpose

This is the sixth of our 7 part post series regarding the humanizing of brand stories. It’s about how source and sentiment can make the difference in creating either information that merely explains “what” or “how” versus actual stories that engage through their ability to communicate purpose and reason for being. What defines the difference? There are four key areas of disconnect which fuel or weaken a brand’s story engagement potential.

Leadership: Evolving from Authority to Influence and Vision

This is the fifth post from our brand storytelling series. It explores the rise of social networks and how this has not only democratized communication between business and people, but also the topic of leadership. True leaders have the ability to inspire the mind and embolden the heart to take action.

Why Employee Engagement Needs to be Infectious

Why is employee engagement often regarded as a “nice-to-have” vs necessity, when in reality it is not unlike the challenge of building external community and engagement. This post takes a deep dive into the biases and the reasons why the misconception and lack of support and investment.

Why humanizing brands begins with a state of mind

We all know how much we can learn about ourselves through the eyes and feedback of others. The same holds true for brands when seen through the eyes and exchanges happening between people. Conversations are going on every second about a brand - but the majority of these conversations are happening amongst people - not brand to people. Whether topics are introduced by the media, influential voices or consumers, brands for the most part are either the outsiders listening-in or completely disconnected from such conversations.

Why CSR is Retail Innovation's "best" self

    Retailing with Purpose : A strategy for sustainable growth I n the world of retail today, it is not enough for brands to compete on strategies that are just grounded on being bigger, better, faster and/or cheaper than competition. The sad reality is that most retailers today compete relying only on such strategies to succeed.  It becomes only a matter of time until they are knocked-off their leadership perch by some other retailer who is even bigger, better, faster and/or cheaper. The demise of long standing retailers from big box chains such as Borders or Circuit City, to small privately owned businesses, should serve as a ...

“Retail with purpose” – The enduring impact of social responsibility at retail

  What is “retail?” A s a term it defines an industry.  As a channel, it represents sales directly to consumers.  From a physical standpoint, it refers to the place where brand to consumer sales transactions takes place (physical and/or virtual footprint).  From a consumer standpoint, at its most basic level it is about sales and purchase.  And if executed properly, it can provide a consumer experience that is enriching, satisfying and enduring.  However, for large-scale mass retailers especially in the U.S., the decline of consumer satisfaction with the in-store experience cannot be ...

The convergence of green design + emotion
Redefining the Notion of CSR

  To what extent does the term "CSR" hinder versus help its communication?   I attended the Fenton CSR Debate along with 1,000+ live viewers on Sept. 17, 2010 to tune into what was anticipated to be, and proved to be, a very spirited debate on Corporate Social Responsibility. It was such an engaging exchange on so many levels, I was bumming when the hour was up. If you haven't watched the debate, I highly recommend you do so within the next few months while it is still available online at Since the debate, the commentary, rebuttals, and analysis have been streaming through the CSR / Sustainability communities and social ...

Bridge Knowledge Gaps

Cross pollination and the sharing of inspired and forward thinking is key for building a truly compelling brand. Providing knowledge and training that goes beyond conference event or seminar is not a privilege, but an essential investment in employees and culture.

Build Internal Engagement

According to Gallup in 2013, Businesses with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. The reasons for why employees are not engaged is not an issue of apathy, but more so about lack of support and enablement of interest.

Nurture Employee Passion

Social networks enable employees from varied organizational roles to become influential voices in building brand interest/loyalty. Building community and engagement can be learned and mastered, but it is not intuitive. Relationships must be set-up and supported to succeed.

Brand Storytelling

The changing shifts in media/communication requires brands to have an even greater understanding of who they are. Unfortunately, most brands today define themselves in ways that limit their identity, relationship-building potential and story.

Proud Member of the Placemaking Leadership Council

Featured in WPP / Terry Lundgren ITUNES U Library

Featured Contributor to the Huffington Post

Endorsed by the Toronto Sustainability Speakers Series