Humanistic approach for brands
Googling "Digital Transformation" yields 598 million results. Almost three times as many as when you search "pancakes recipe". This figure shows how eager corporations are to complete the long-awaited transformation brought about by the Internet's explosion. There was a time when it felt like it would be something more or less simple: to create a digital version of everything we did in offline life.
More than two decades later, we have realized that that would not be all. The transformation implied many things, including the multiplication of easier ways to create companies with a shower of opportunities that generated a rich surface of new and improved products and services. But it has gone far deeper, affecting how we interact to one another, and so to our work, and especially to brands.
Until then, management was approached in a Taylorist manner. A 1911 method centered on a procedure that separates tasks that are always the same, as if humans operated like machines. However, for a business to adapt and even improve its performance, the first step is to consider people as a complex whole that grows in several spheres and with natural fluctuations.
Humanism in organizations
Addressing this perspective is what the humanistic approach applied in organizations is all about. Being able to listen to and comprehend others in order to bring forth their individual potential. This idea begins with a premise that may appear obvious, but should not be overlooked: organizations must ensure people's dignity and enhance their abilities as responsible adults for the common purpose they have as a collective, as a corporation.
At Soluble, we use this humanistic approach not just for internal growth, but also to help organizations create their brands, particularly in digital environments. So, when we talk about brand, we mean everything that allows us to modulate an image. This includes everything that happens behind closed doors: organizational culture and knowing not only what the company does, but also why and for what it does it.
The brand, from the people
A brand has a lot to do with the people who make it up and how they interact with one another. We identify strengths in their distinct and inimitable reality to bring out and establish the perception we need to endure as a business: our brand image.
This is critical for brands with a strong digital presence, because, just as Taylor's theory generated processes that required a lot of effort and time to implement a change, the humanistic approach - by respecting human nature - provides organizations with a positive and agile adaptation, based on autonomy and trust in our people's judgment.
Feedback between culture and strategy
It is critical to have built the groundwork internally, to acknowledge the strategy that unifies us and is rooted in our own culture, so that these changes are nimble, sensible, and have a consistent influence on the brand that we are and want to remain. This strategy articulates the ideals upon which our organization is founded, but it's also a practical instrument that will assist professionals in becoming more aware of their role and contribution, as well as enabling for better aligned, consistent, and deliberate decision making throughout the corporation.
handling organizational change from a humanistic viewpoint requires handling brand management and activation from a similar standpoint. In this way, we will also multiply the known benefits of applying this type of culture (change hierarchies for autonomy, error for learning that leads to innovation, change speeches for conversations, motivate commitment, and avoid talent retention, etc.).
Furthermore, the humanistic viewpoint applied to brands helps us to address a key issue for us: mental health. It is not to be confused with perpetual happiness, which would only cause frustration and be of little use to the organization, but with the ability we have as individuals and as a group to face challenges, deal with difficulties, and know how to cope with what these bring in healthy spaces for our psychology.
Transformation is no longer a goal for companies and brands; it is a permanent condition that necessitates an increasingly human and people-centered approach. This is our path: to return to the essence of who we are in order to know how to build agile and digitally today what will allow us to endure.
Nothing happens at Soluble due to the efforts of just one person. This article wouldn’t have been possible without the collaboration of Almudena Mestre, providing documentation and inspiration; Marta Factor in writing; Daniel Senior in visual design and Carmen Fraga in translation.