In some business to business marketing communications corners there seems to be a reluctance to allow, enable, or encourage individuals to establish a unique voice. A question I hear repeatedly goes like this, "What if I invest in a person, only to have them get famous and leave me?"
Here are my non-quantitative thoughts on that:
- first, design a win:win scenario whereby a person earns respect and acclaim as they advance your corporate position.
- be a powerful environment in which your staff can express themselves and have their intelligence and capabilities heard.
- be the most uniquely supportive place for your staff to work, to express their expertise, and to earn kudos.
- hire the best people you can find. Hire experts, hire the extremely curious, persistent, and thorough. In addition, encourage your existing staff to become just as great. In fact, incentivize them all to go way beyond average.
- stand back and watch these people shine .. and watch your company's image and brand soar.
Be so good that they wouldn't want to leave you. Be so good that, if they do move on, they speak glowingly of your organization (and maybe return). Be so good that they refer only the best people in their networks to you. Most importantly, be so good that, when they stay with you, they and their equally excited and valuable rock star colleagues take you places you didn't dare dream of.
The question I always ask is, "What if you DON'T invest in a person, and they remain?"