Mark Nardone, EVP at PAN Communications, speaks with Ted Rubin, a leading social marketing strategist, keynote speaker, brand evangelist and acting CMO of Brand Innovators.
Watch the video below or read the transcript and learn from Ted Rubin as he discusses how change actually occurs within an organization, the urgency to become creative again and how to empower employees to become change agents moving forward.
Mark Nardone Intro: Brand Change Agents
As you talk about the drop of silos in the marketing department, it is something that we’ve been seeing and you’ve been seeing over the last several years. The issue remains that there should not be any type of silo in a marketing organization. Everybody should be one underneath the brand. But when you relate this back to employee advocacy, do you think the individuals inside of the marketing department or the CMO, who starts to align that skillset with it, has the ability to be the true change agent moving forward?
Ted Rubin on Brand Change Agents:
I think C-suite people are rarely the change agents. Unless it’s a CEO who’s brought in with a mandate to change. And even then, I think they come in with a playbook, most often. I can’t tell you how many interviews I went on when I was changing gigs where they’d asked me what would I do in my first 60 days to change the company. And I said ‘Absolutely nothing.’ How can I change a company that I don’t know anything about? If you asked me what would I do in the first 60 days, I would listen, and I would ask questions, and I would observe. Recruiters can’t hear that. They want a plan. I think change happens usually from a lower level, to me.
In most organizations, change happens at the director or VP level. The guy that says, ‘This is not for me. I want to make a change. If I can’t work here, I’ll work somewhere else.’ The problem with CMOs is – and it’s not their fault – there’s limited roles for CMOs. It’s the mid-level employees that need to rise up. I like to say that we have to start a revolution in our companies, and the first revolution we have to start is we have to tell them that we want to be creative again.
I don’t think I’ve ever been in a Fortune 500 brainstorming session where more than two people spoke. The majority sit there, and either they’re afraid to speak because they’ll say something stupid and be laughed at, or they’ll say something that their boss isn’t happy with. There’s two guys guiding the conversation: They’re all given the information before they get there, so they come in with preconceived notions.
I like to say that we have to start thinking like kids again so that we can get in touch with our creative side. How many people actually take the time these days, especially in companies, to sit back and just think? How many people are empowered to do that?