Branding IT Organization Part I talked about branding in general and how IT branding is linked to the Process Culture maturity of an IT organization. This time, I will further define the concept of IT branding and how it relates to team culture. Jose Rivas, a colleague of mine, posted this as a comment in my last article:
“Branding is something that everyone in IT does every day– it is how the user community perceives you. I believe that branding is a reflection of the culture that drives the IT organization, or any other group for that matter. Purposely branding IT takes a lot of thought and effort. It requires a clear vision, effective communications within as well as outside IT, strong executive sponsorship and a well-motivated organization.”
I couldn’t agree more with this opinion of Jose Rivas on IT branding as a reflection of the team’s culture. Branding has a lot to do with human perspective and the forces that are created in social and organizational interactions. It has a lot to do with your group’s identity and culture.
IT Brand Identity and IT Branding
IT Brand Identity marks the tangible representation of your IT brand. This representation can be in different forms – your mission and vision, your service offers, culture and style. It is what you stand for. IT brand identify is the set of values that exists in your customers and employees’ mind as a result of interaction and associations with your IT organization.
IT Branding is the process of building and improving IT brand identity. This identity or culture is shared by employees and groups that control the way you interact with each other and with stakeholders outside of t he company. It is the value you create that gets reinforced every time your internal customers interact with anyone in your team and any facet of your service.
Improving your IT brand: Why bother?
Below are just some of the rewards IT organizations can derive directly or indirectly from having a strong IT brand.
- IT will run more efficient operations because they align all decisions with the mission, vision and values that underpin their promise.
- Internal customers (business) are willing to invest more in IT because they believe it will deliver outstanding benefits.
- Quality of IT services concretes internal customer loyalty.
- Business supports IT projects because they know that IT creates value in the company.
- It is easier for IT to communicate new service offers.
- IT will find it easier to attract and retain good employees because applicants believe in the quality of the workplace based on the advance knowledge of the caliber of the brand.
- IT will increase its value and management support
The bottom line for IT managers and employees is that if they do not become conscious of the team culture in which they are embedded – those cultures will control them. This process is complex and multifaceted. Every IT team must learn how to become a team. They have to find their identity and use it to their advantage.
Photo courtesy of advanceweb.com.
8 thoughts on “IT Team Culture and Branding (Branding IT Organization Part II)”
I think that whatever team behavior and culture is fully impacted by the one projected by the leader at any level in the corresponding organization.
If the desired culture is not already established, the CIO or any other IT Manager must carefully think in what is the image he or she is projecting (or would like to project) to their internal customers, peers, employees and collaborators.
If the desired culture is already in place then it is critical to have on going processes that keep that value update, mainly when any new individual arrives to the team.
Communication is another key factor. How do you communicate your culture and branding? That has to happen and not only by chance.
I agree with Antonio, staff movement put a risk to IT branding still if structured and delivered properly very much the same as the company’s mission and vision IT branding will be able to sustain itself in spite of staff movement.
Not every collection of people develops a culture or identity. Culture develops through time and constant socialization and interaction. Turnover of members and specially frequent changes in leadership hinder development of culture. Time is essential for some degree of culture to form.
I agree also with that’s perspective, but is important to take a strategy to following in an independant way and corporative, although a director staff change or will be promote in the organization put a risk in the sucess of the strategy.
I agree wholeheartedly with Glenn’s perspective. Branding offers a very relevant toolset for the IT team, particularly from the perspective of team culture, behaviour and perception.
I like the three perspective you outlined here Jonathan. Here are my additional thoughts with respect to those points:
1. Team culture – IT branding is about shaping your organizational culture where IT members feel the sense of belonging and participation.
2. Behavior – Once the team’s identity is set it determines much of the group’s behavior, and the rules and norms are passed on to newcomers during interaction process.
3. Perception – Branding methods could be used aptly to improve the perception of the IT function. The better IT services are perceived internal the more effective IT can become in its service delivery.
Thanks for your input.