DisrupTV: Building an internal culture that reflects positively on the brand

President of SAP SuccessFactors, ​Mike Ettling, on creating an internal culture that strengthens the brand; David Cancel, CEO of Drift shares tips for leading a cloud-based company; and Shep Hyken discusses the importance of defining the organization's 'brand of customer service'.
Written by Constellation Research, Contributor

On the latest episode of DisrupTV we caught up with Mike Ettling (@mikeettling), president of SAP SuccessFactors; David Cancel (@dcancel), CEO of Drift; and Shep Hyken (@Hyken), Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations.

Building a Culture Within Creates a Strong External Brand

Mike Ettling (@mikeettling), president of SAP SuccessFactors, believes leaders should invest in and focus on their talent (i.e. employees).

With respect to recruiting, Ettling believes talent shortage is a myth. According to Ettlingthe talent supply really depends on the pond where you are fishing. Leaders need to think beyond poaching talent from the competition and start thinking about how to find good talent around the globe. Once your teams are in place, he advised, a company needs to nurture and value its people in the context of its business model.

The cloud-based business model differs from the business models that dominated the 20th century. Companies must implement updated strategies that build and maintain their cultures in the cloud business environment. Ettling described the culture at SuccessFactors as one that is "sprinting all the time". SuccessFactors' internal culture is driven by the ethos of the brand -- in turn, the internal culture transmits the brand message. The merits of a strong, innovative team within the company's "four walls" trickle out to external stakeholders - e.g., partners and customers.

Transitioning to a leadership position at a cloud business can be difficult for leaders coming from different business models. David Cancel (@dcancel), CEO at Drift, echoed this sentiment by saying that leaders need to check their egos at the door. Leaders should be open to new ideas and focus their energies on nurturing the people that make a company successful.

People, Not Places, Are Your Customers

The entire workforce of a company should focus on customer outcome. Focusing on people and delighting customers is the key to creating an innovation-focused company culture, explained Cancel.

Leadership needs to define the company's brand of customer service, explained Shep Hyken (@Hyken), Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations. Walmart focuses on lower prices and big selections, while ACE Hardware focuses on helpful, knowledgeable experiences with trained salespeople. Invest in the right tools for your vision combined the right teams now or your competitors surely will, warns Hyken.

To build a company that lives up to the brand promise, always focus on the people--your employees, your customers. People keep your company moving and thriving. BONUS: Catch Shep Hyken's top recommendations for toasted ravioli! Interested in networking with executives and leaders like those in this post? Check out the Constellation Executive Network.

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