Why “and” is a very powerful word in business

Why "and" is a very powerful word in business


I’ve written previously about the importance and value of culture to the business and the brand. And often that unintentionally leads down the path of it being more important than other things. There’s a good article on Fast Company that illustrates why that isn’t so. Bob Frisch makes the case that “Culture vs Strategy Is A False Choice” and I’d have to agree.

In a nutshell his argument comes down to something that we all should know – at least since we left school and started working in the real world. Yes there are times when the choice is “or,” more times things work much better and the outcomes are far stronger when you embrace the “and.” Do both. Use both. Work to make both strong.

In this case Bob was referring to the mini “war” between culture and strategy for determinism in the corporate landscape. A war that often ignores the fact that you need both. A strong strategy that is aligned with the culture, with what the organisation CAN do. With the promises they CAN keep. A strong culture that is made more purposeful by strategy. That is unified in its endeavor. Having both will win over having just one – every time.

Look across the landscape of the organisation and you will see plenty of other “or”s that could just as easily be “and”s – big and small.

We can make promises we can keep or keep our customers.

We have to choose either profits or people.

Make it good for the environment or make it cost effective.

Have an online store or a walk-in store.

Digital marketing or marketing.

Focus on what we care about or grow the business.

Be customer-centric or set clear expectations about what we can do.

The list could go on and on. The point is, when you stop to ask how you can make this “and”, the very act of connecting things together immediately multiplies the opportunities and ideas that emerge. The word “and” immediately expands the available options.

If you replace “and” for each of the statements in the list, you will build a stronger AND more resilient organization and brand – which in the end is the “and” that matters most.

What “ors” could be “ands” in your organisation?

See you next week.

Get your brand questions answered by posting them on twitter @michelhogan or emailing me at [email protected]

Michel is an Independent Brand Analyst dedicated to helping organisations make promises they can keep and keep the promises they make. She also publishes a blog at michelhogan.com. You can follow Michel on Twitter @michelhogan.


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