When I was part of the internal communications and engagement team in AIB we put a lot of focus on leaders. We knew that they were a key channel for us, the ones who would dictate whether teams looked favourably or unfavourably at AIB as a place to work.
We ran annual leader events for 1,300 leaders. At one of those events we asked the audience to think differently, to consider the heroes on their teams and to think about how they could help them to tell their stories.
We created a closing film, based on Apple's 'Think Different' advert from the 90s with Steve Jobs narrating.
And, when that film was over, there were people in the audience in tears. We connected with them emotionally. WIN!
And that's what Phillips wanted to do when they switched from being a consumer electronics company to being a manufacturer of medical devices.
The story goes that staff weren't that keen - they didn't want to make medical devices. So Philips set out to bring the company’s purpose to life - to show how, by getting into this business, they were REALLY helping people
So in 2016, Philips made ‘Breathless Choir’, a film that showed how the devices the company made were giving people back their singing voices.
And with that voice came confidence and self belief. This new choir gave the people in question a way to get a bit more from their lives. It’s amazing to hear the stories of those people’s lives, among them a 9/11 first responder and a girl who used to sing before contracting COPD.
Without that sense of purpose and connection, Phillips staff are simply building machines, day-in--day-out.
There was little or no emotional connection.
But this story brought their purpose to life, connected what they do to the real people they do it for. It was human, emotional and engaging. It’s hard not to feel emotional as you hear their stories and watch the journeys all the way to a concert at the end for family and friends.
It highlighted in crystal clarity the impact those employees were having on those people.
They weren’t just helping them to get on with their lives
They were making dreams come true!
Every day when we go to work there is nearly always a human being at the end of the line. Someone for whom you and your teams are making life better or making dreams come true.
The energy these emotional stories bring is powerful and motivating..
So find them, hold them up and celebrate them you must.
Because it’s madness not to.
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