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Beyond Branding is written by members of The Medinge Group

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September 08, 2003

One conversation at a time... 

Paul Goodison, commenting on this Blog, writes

"I only really see how life is within ntl and a few other suppliers, although that is really only fleeting and not of great depth. Values have been, and still seem to be paid lip servie without actually being taken seriously... We have values, and visions, and objectives and someone occasionally insists we should know them and take heed but I have yet to see a leader live them. That's what I want - people to walk the walk. Lead with passion tolerance and understanding. Show people the way don't expect them to follow orders.

And guess what? Look after me and I'll walk bare foot over glass for you. Blame me for things that are ultimately your responsiblity and I'll head for the door."

This gives an idea of the enormity of the challenge - and opportunity - for organisations. It's very easy to talk about values, living them is something else. Unfortunately for CEOs, this quality is not something to be bought in a box from a consultant.

Vibrant cultures exist where vibrant conversations take place. This is the antithesis of the grandiose command-and-control mentality that still permeates many organisations. What it requires is the spirit of a community.

And look what happens when an organisation gets the power of community. I've just adopted Movable Type for my own blog. This has such a powerful community that it's customers who give most of the answers in the support forum. The traditional boundary between supplier and customer is blurred. Instead there is a vibrant community of enthusiasts, inspired - not controlled - by the founders.

How do such communities start? Not with a masterplan by some all-seeing guru. They start with a single, authentic conversation and go on from there. So anyone reading this blog can work towards community by the way they talk to people, today.
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