As they say, change is inevitable. And in business as in life, change is constant. It must be in order to stay relevant and competitive. Companies must evolve and grow outpacing themselves and the rest of the market more than ever before. This is how progress is made.
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill
Change can be positive for the business, yet still challenging to key constituents. It can appear in the form of organizational and leadership changes, enterprise-wide system rollouts, and mergers and acquisitions. It can also stem from crisis in the form of financial setbacks, employee layoffs, office closures, or public scandal.
For employees, clients, and key stakeholders, change brings anxiety, fear, and negativity. Too much change in a short amount of time and you get resentment, anger, rebellion, and toxic behavior.
Authenticity in our online presence has been a hot topic for the past few years, but seems to be gaining momentum as of late. Top of mind for a lot of brands, it’s been tossed about on webinars, conferences, blogs, discussion groups, and in numerous media articles. However, the ability to be “authentic” as we engage with our online audiences and in the content we share, dangerously comingles with the same advice on how we garner more attention, fame, and following from our social domains.
While being authentic is a noble pursuit, my fear is that most are far more concerned with going viral, getting retweets, or increasing their conversion rates than they are with what it really means to be authentic. In the same breath of discussions on authentic engagement and brand trust come questions on how to beat the crap out of the competition. This may be the intended end result, but hardly a driver for authenticity in its purest form.
For corporate or personal brands, simply defined, authenticity is consistently being true to what the brand stands for in every single interaction. This includes online and in person, with clients, consumers, employees, and vendors, in the work we do, and in the communities we live and serve.