This is the time of year when executives share their New Year’s resolutions. I am no exception. Sharing your resolutions publicly is a good way to clarify your purpose. Since one of Investis Digital’s core values is to embrace clarity, I’m going to do that right here.
I have one resolution: to help Investis Digital live its purpose, values, and story. Here’s how:
Stay Focused on Our Purpose
When I first joined Investis Digital (then known simply as Investis), I sat down with my team and told them that we needed to look at the company in a different way. We were not in the IR business, like many thought we were. We were not in the corporate communications business, like many thought we were. We needed to take a step back and redefine our remit in a broader way:
We are in the content — the storytelling — business. Our purpose is to create, amplify, and optimize meaningful communications with audiences across all digital channels.
That’s our purpose in a nutshell.
Delivering on that purpose can be a complicated job. When you analyze our purpose in detail, you realize that we need to coordinate many moving parts. The “amplify” part of our purpose implies the need to bolster our inbound and outbound marketing offerings. To that end, in 2019, we acquired Vertical Measures, a business that has enriched our ability to help our clients amplify their stories via paid and organic content. We also opened an office in Dublin to ensure that we’re sensing and responding to geographic markets where clients’ needs align with our purpose.
As CEO, I am accountable for ensuring we’re growing in efficient, smart ways in service of our purpose. In 2020, I’m going to do just that. For instance, you can expect to hear more about vertical markets such as life sciences where we are bringing to bear our skills and know-how.
Live Our Values
We’re transparent about our corporate values. We publish them on our website. They are:
- Embrace clarity. We know what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.
- Bring passion. We love what we do and share this enthusiasm with everyone we work with.
- Inspire greatness. We strive for excellence and help others be their best.
- Keep innovating. We’re curious and always improve what we do.
- Measure success. We’re rewarded for the work we do.
We’ve taken a number of steps to live our values. For instance, in 2019, we launched Connect.ID, a new proprietary technology suite that delivers enterprise-grade business websites and content at scale -- rapidly, securely and efficiently. Connect.ID is an example of our commitment to keep innovating. In 2020, we will develop Connect.ID capabilities, including the rollout of a dedicated Service Center, first in London and then globally. This is part of our evolution into a provider of a digital communications cloud, with end-to-end digital communications through our SaaS cloud.
Of course, I’ll push our people to live all our values – and celebrate them. As I noted in an earlier blog post, we continue to celebrate and encourage the uptake of those values in a number of ways, including holding an annual “Donnie Awards” to uplift employees who live and share our values in compelling, creative ways.
Holding us accountable and celebrating our values will remain extremely important to me in 2020. In 2019, we were proud to be recognized one of the top firms to work in Phoenix. I’d like for us to be the preferred choice everywhere.
Tell Our Story
We’re in the storytelling business. So we need to tell our own story loud and clear. Your story is the fundamental narrative you share about your business. Stories resonate with people much more than data. Good stories create emotional connections between the audience and the storyteller.
For many businesses, the CEO is the most visible storyteller. Certainly the CEO needs to set the right example. In 2019, I put a full-court press on storytelling, largely by sharing thought leadership in places such as our blog and in Forbes. I’m proud to be part of an organization whose people consistently share our story through strong marketing globally and locally, whether we’re attending events and sharing our insights about them, conducting them, sharing major reports such as The New ESG Agenda.
In 2020, I’m putting my own stake in the ground as a storyteller with the publication of How to Lead a Values-Based Professional Service Firm. As I blogged recently, this book, being published on January 29, captures everything I’ve learned as an executive in this industry that I love. It challenges professional services firms to redefine themselves around their purposes, values, and stories. I’m proud to be the co-author.
In 2020, I’ll continue to apply to my own professional life the ethos of How to Lead a Values-Based Professional Services Firm. The buck stops here!