As we draw to the end of 2020, it’s a good time to reflect on your year in business.

At GW+Co, we’ve been busy helping our clients overcome strategic challenges by aligning culture, strategy and brand. We’ve also worked on our own alignment and processes in order to better serve them in the future. Traditionally, the year end is a time to dial out of the details in order to look at the big picture and consider what has worked, and what hasn’t. With that in mind, we’ve drawn up this four-point review to check the health of your business. These fundamental questions can help you assess what went right, what went wrong, and drive positive change in 2021.

Did we listen to each other?

Different departments and divisions have their own agendas and often their own P&L. Without positive efforts to keep talking and listening to each other, it’s easy to drift into siloed thinking. How separate and how connected were the different elements of your business in 2020? Did you run any initiatives to make connections between people who don’t usually talk to each other? By getting a true reflection of people’s ideas, values and sentiments, you can cultivate a holistic approach that is better for business. When individual fulfilment and wellbeing are in tune with that of the company, people are more able to pull together towards a common goal.

Did our purpose reflect our true intentions?As well as articulating your values and purpose, did you practise them? Look back and ask if you made decisions because they were the right decisions rather than because they’re the commercial decisions. Were your values part of the conversation? Purpose needs to be lived and loved, it can’t just be posters in the foyer. To have real power, a brand’s purpose must resonate throughout the whole organisation and beyond.

Were we consistent?

Maintaining a consistent look and feel isn’t easy in this age of multiple touchpoints. Today, brand experiences play out through sound, motion and voice, on established formats and social channels. You may be operating in various regions and retail environments, and also need to align how your employees experience brand with customers’ experience. Take a quick audit of your brand’s look and feel across a range of touchpoints from the full spectrum. And ask yourself if the brand experience was coherent and consistent.

Were we happy?

An organization full of grumpy people is no fun at all, and will be hard pushed to delight the end user. Ask your employees for feedback on their contentment and experience of work. In particular, do they feel that the brand lives by the same values as an employer as it does in meeting customer needs? How is your team spirit? Culture is still undervalued in many organisations. By elevating it to sit on a level with strategy and brand, you can promote a more harmonious experience for your people and drive business growth.

This is also a time to congratulate ourselves on everything we’ve achieved over the business rollercoaster of 2020. Many have met the most challenging of circumstances with tenacity, resilience and creativity. So a period to reflect, shift gears and recharge is well deserved.

For guidance on articulating and actioning a purpose that truly resonates with all stakeholders, join our webinar from 11-11.30am on Thursday 21 January, Purpose: The Value of Authenticity

Gilmar Wendt is the Founder and Principal of GW+Co.
Contact him on @gilmarwendt