How Do You Define Your Company and Yourself in One Sentence?

Posted on March 2, 2010 
Filed Under General

The advent and popularity of Twitter and texting should make it pretty easy to sum up, in one sentence, how we define ourselves or the company we work for.  Can you define what your company or what your brand/product stands for in roughly 75 characters? An article on Harvard Business Review’s site got me thinking about this challenge and how difficult it really is.  How you personally define your company is probably different than the person in the office next to you, or in the cubicle down the hall. And if you’re in a position to ask, it’d be interesting to see how your employees define their organization. We’re not talking about fancy mission statements or taglines, either.

Just how disparate those definitions are will point to whether your employee communications strategy is working and even how well your company is performing. Google’s one sentence definition is this: “We organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”   Southwest’s sentence is: “We democratize the skies and give people the freedom to fly.”   The HBR article author, Bill Taylor, asks: “What’s your sentence?”  That’s a good question (and that’s not “my” sentence, by the way). What’s the defining sentence for your organization and to take it a step further, what’s your personal sentence?  If you are having trouble with either of these questions, then it’s time to take stock of how you’re spending your day and expending your energies.

– Diane Schwartz

Comments

  • http://malisprblog.blogspot.com/ Mali

    This is really a good question! As I start to plan my carrier in the PR sector, this sentence made me think about how I would describe myself. In fact it is a matter of sales: Which is the best strategy to sale you out the most profitable way? Which facts of the CV are the most important, on what experiences should I lay more attention? How can I improve my image and that all in one only sentence?!
    The same is for corporations: Which is the best description that pictures my organisation? Should it be objective and businesslike to build up a serious image? Or better fresh and fancy to demonstrate innovativeness?
    I think the best way to find the appropriate words are if the person can identify itself with the corporation and its products. It has to come out the enthusiasm and motivation to work in this place and to be a part of it. The same is for a personal presentation: If you are confident and motivated to work at the organisation you apply for and if you are curious enough to show it convincingly, it is the best way to answer the question.

  • Danny

    I think the answer to this question for any organization should relate to the values the company strives to fulfill. Good companies have quality values that unify employees and help the firm aim to achieve a particular goal. If an individual’s answer to the question “how do you define your company?” does not relate directly to the company’s values or mission statement, there is a problem. Google, like you mentioned, is an excellent example of a values-driven company with a strongly unified employee base. In order to be successful, I feel a company must always stick to its values and those values must be emphasized and communicated to employees constantly. Like the above commenter said, in order for this to occur, a company’s employees must share the same values as the company, which isn’t always the case.

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