Brand Ambassadors & CSR

July 7

 Apotheon Logo Alien Trap Games_2B

Brand Ambassadors:

Be The Change You Seek and Lead with Conviction

When was the last time you gave an Award to an individual within your organization that you felt was connected to your team, to your leadership, to you community and positively impacts the culture within your organization as a way to align to your beliefs and value system?

They can be living or dead but tough questions are sometimes needed when facing tough challenges. 
For those in mission critical occupations such as first responders, cyber-security, intelligence, military, human resources, medical and public or non-profit fields you count upon and rely upon your team. That team may be made up of dedicated professionals and more supporting roles than one might expect, it requires a passion to lead, a desire to innovate, and an engaged workforce ready to tackle the challenge. But how do we get there you may ask, well it may not may require that just few of your cohorts rise to the challenge. Sure it is easier to not get emotionally engaged and sit on your iPad or laptop playing games in your free time as opposed to feeling inspired to get up every morning or late at night and hit the beat or that project. That discretionary energy is engagement.When we look at engagement as a topic games are coming up more, and more importantly employee engagement is the topic that runs as an under-tone to a few live online events we will be exploring with at the end of this month in a series of brief 30 minute webinars with a few of my friends that I feel lead by example, and are not afraid to be leaders asking the tough questions.

Here are few ideas and business models to spark that conversion that your employer branding efforts and brand ambassadors should seek to have with your rank and file and your talent communities. 

1) Content marketing for talent acquisition, can help float your boat and set sail given the need to address recruitment and retention.  It stands to reason that for any group, organization, or individual to achieve extraordinary feats that the mission and cause come first. I have written before of the term philotimo in reference to our Veterans and the notion of duty, honor and sacrifice above self as a means to elevating a sense of cultural or even ethnic pride and public service to the community, after all that is the hallmark of the Greek legacy known as democracy is it not? Sure a country now in the waters of economic uncertainty and a small peninsula that may very well become an island in the EU as the term Grexit is being thrown around. I find this fascinating in light of all the discussions around leadership and economic development as a function of community engagement amidst the geo-political unrest-taking place but I digress.


2) Our leaders, our communities, our country, and especially our human capital can all benefit from collaborative efforts aligned to support a common cause.   Consider taking on just as an exercise, efforts with marketing and human resources around a corporate social responsibility effort that has a recruiting or employee recognition twist to it or both. The potential of content marketing as an approach to attracting and engaging your talent, fostering a need for collaboration however challenging that may be for some, requires leadership and vision as well as tactics like search engine marketing, social media, and mobile first approach. Amongst our ranks in my own network on LinkedIn I have seen several leaders in the community with CSR efforts that would qualify as apotheons in my book as serving the public, while also serving the mission and role of interdisciplinary mentors. In fact we need not look very far than our very own LinkedIn networks and in our communities to find mentors that are leading corporate social responsibility type efforts. Many embolden by causes that may lend themselves as solutions to some of the very challenges your team in talent management or in the ICU, or on the schoolyard or in hospice or elderly care centers are facing these days.

3) Employee recognition can meet Corporate Social Responsibility in efforts to provide a connection and cause to support your Internal communications initiatives.  I am honored to work with a highly disciplined team of subject matter experts in my new role with hodes a findly company. In so far that I am continually learning and finding new ways to approach problem solving for our clients both in talent acquisition or web development many of the human capital challenges I have been exposed to over the years, numbers of programs, the personalities, and challenging work environments shall we say have inspired me to share some examples of those that have gone above and beyond shall we say to transcendent status in taking it to that next level.


Lets consider the definition of the noun Apotheon: 

(plural apotheons) One who is exalted or elevated to a state of godhood. An individual element of a greater, transcendent whole. A scholar of the apotheonic. An enlightened being.

To build a legacy and leave your mark may mean sacrificing your own time and money but for those few that do have what the Greeks call philotimo.
I felt compelled to recognize some of those efforts in this very public forum and as always better to ask forgiveness than permission so here it goes.

Four potential CSR business use cases together can serve to guide your efforts for a philanthropy issue- oriented approach to collaborate while serving to drive value and benefit in your community.

Veteran focused outreach and reintegration efforts. Here is an I-Mentor whom uses a cohort approach that values reverse mentoring brothers in arms. 
Take for instance, decorated war Veteran and former FBI Special Agent Jake Clark he is an iMentor and with his team has created Save A WarriorSave A Warrior is an innovative, evidence-based program that provides a powerful healing experience for Active Duty Military, Veterans, and First Responders who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress. Save a warrior’s innovative template for acommunity resiliency model is designed specifically to support generation y’s returning warriors one key strategy we all hear allot about is story telling but maybe not custom publishing.

Custom publishing meets CSR with employee recognition & story telling
One of INOVA’s Board of Trustee Members Cindy Chambers a local philanthropist who’s career included an IT background could have continued in government contracting. She is an I-Mentor in my book. Here is a woman whose love of story-telling has lead to the TellmeTown Foundation. Handing out self authored children’s books not unlike Clifford the Big Red Dog in the ECU or Pediatrics ward in Northern Virginia Hospitals with characters in the book that are based upon real life employees whom are medical professionals or first responders in the community. She is sending the right message wrapped in scientific content in an easy to understand format and in the company of her team and an affable golden retriever that is a healing dog that goes by the name of “beamer” during the holidays and throughout the year directly into the wards and waiting rooms to help make the hospital a better experience and a safe place in a clinical setting mind you, that enables a holistic and educational experience for young people and their families to discuss the hard discussions one never takes lightly when it involves a young one. The Tell Me Town Foundation provides comfort and education for children and their families creating an environment whereby the characters from The Beamer Book Series, and Tell Me Town Books being the actual mentors like Dr. Pucchio Head of pediatrics, seem to me to not only serve to be a great tool for recognition and retention, but consider the fact that these books help diminish the fear and stigma associated with the illness but build awareness for such things as stroke, which create a conducive environment for patient centered care while serving to help to foster trust and awareness.

Out of Home or Off Campus Based Events Can Activate Your Brain & Brand
I-Mentor Dr. Larry Maxwell of INOVA is across the way in a different department than pediatrics but instead on the production side of the house in obstetrics and gynecology. Another Veteran like Jake who saw how the Komen Foundation could help raise funding for Cancer research started a grass roots level effort that applied to his field of medicine which has now gone global. He has created a global walkathon with related events using wearables and engaging cohorts and physicians and researchers in the medical field across the world to discuss the five below the belt cancers affecting women where a cure can and should be found. As Director of the Globe-athon. The next step is not unlike the genome project. As an ERG activity for any organization that wants to get engaged your group can host an event and blend in corporate wellness collateral but the fact that doctors across 60 countries in 130 cities during September 2013 and expanded in 2014 had for the third time not only raised awareness but are moving to phase two in crowdsourcing best practices in the field of OBGYN from both the patient, family member and clinical side to me is most promising and notable as a successful and promising model to fund or support. At a minimum a great way to build camaraderie as well as healthy habits and awareness.

On campus augmented reality tactics have been done but lets’ join in the fight as participants not as witnesses. Engage with on campus ambassadors and even blend department heads with students and sponsors to collaborate with innovative games and challenges. Its folks like my friend Theresa Clary CEO of Workforce Strategies. Her data products and consulting services are essential for norm-based, factual workforce profiling and workforce planning but on her own time she has held and enables folks to sponsor workshops that helped to map Ebola outbreaks that informed and helped first responders on the ground not unlike CDC has done with a fun and educational activity for students from places like UC Berkley Data Lab and Smith College as to the power of data analytics in the field of sociology and public health.

Any of these four philanthropic endeavors or business use cases when combined with a few ideas of your own can serve to drive value and benefit with potentially a wonderful digital and real world experiential learning opportunity. I encourage you to click thru and connect with them on LinkedIn or learn more to see how you can lend support. If interested in sponsorships I am happy to help or share more on the benefits of Brand Ambassador Training and approach to the Science of Team Science leads us is in building the right culture or community of innovation combining real world activities enhanced by social media sources with big data analytics that down the road may provide a multitude of unforeseen opportunities from a technology and interpersonal standpoint. But essentially what are those interpersonal communication traits, and behaviors that we need to internalize or understand as a basis for those interactions. Join us on July 28th to find out, some suggest it begins with kindness and generosity and we will ask an expert, so if you want to ask what is it that can make for a successful long lasting relationship, and how can I hang on to talent while working to help my team to build a legacy and sustainable approach to our human capital challenges via digital strategies in talent acquisition with a CSR approach stay tuned.


Follow me on Twitter @JohBersentes or visit a findly company.

Register on Facebook or click here to join us in celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the ADA and how you can recruit and retain the differently abled taking place on Wed. July 22nd at 12:30pm – 1:00pm CDT

#TalentManagement, #CSR, #ContentMarketing #Diversity #Veterans #PublicHealth, #EmployerBranding

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