BP: Beyond Core Values

When BP’s “Beyond Petroleum” image campaign was running full throttle a few years ago, I remember cornering a company lawyer. What was wrong with being a petroleum company, and being the best one they could be? He shrugged. Oil was so 20th century; the company’s C-suite was focused on a future increasingly powered by alternative…

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BP: Beyond Core Values

When BP’s “Beyond Petroleum” image campaign was running full throttle a few years ago, I remember cornering a company lawyer. What was wrong with being a petroleum company, and being the best one they could be? He shrugged. Oil was so 20th century; the company’s C-suite was focused on a future increasingly powered by alternative…

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Square Deal to Done Deal: Leveraging History to Change the Future

President Obama reached back nearly 100 years in our nation’s history—to Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal from the 1912 presidential campaign—to demonstrate how long American political agendas (both Republican and Democrat) have listed expanding health care coverage as a key reform. The push to pass healthcare reform was a hard slog, but the President prevailed, using…

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Successful Succession

The economic crisis has offered food for thought on a number of business related issues: corporate responsibility, government control, inflated salaries, etc. Here’s a new one, offered up in a recent McKinsey Quarterly article: succession planning. The article cites Ken Lewis’s departure from Bank of America and the resulting “scrutiny and criticism” the company faced…

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History Shock

Change is history, whether companies have been around for 200 years or 20. While we’re not about to rechristen the place, “The Change Factory” (or if we are I didn’t get the memo), much of what we do here is to communicate—to help companies tell their stories—about change. And regardless of how long a company…

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Innovative Interpretation

Picture this: A client tells us, “Hey, our CEO would really like to render our organizational history in the form of an 8-minute video incorporating a giant light box, a bunch of sand, and a gorgeous Ukrainian performance artist. Whaddya think?” Now, when organizations choose to celebrate and recognize their collective histories, there are several…

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