Top Banana, a London-based events and communications consultancy, implores its clients to eschew the expected when providing experiences to employees, customers and other business partners.
“Effective, modern leaders need to work on creating frequent, exciting interventions in the workplace through their actions, words and approaches. Deliver the unexpected, be memorable and surprise people with something different,” blogs Top Banana’s Marketing Communications Manager Polly Stobinski. She offers these tips for creating memorable experiences in 2018:
Forget your ivory tower
You can’t cause much of a stir from up on high. Get out of the office, get amongst your people and breathe the same air. Ask to join employees for lunch. Gather a group off the shop floor for an impromptu ideas session. Approach people for specific expertise.
The element of surprise
People remember it when their leaders do the unexpected. Arrange a surprise event to celebrate success, communicate an important message by leaving a surprise item on the desk of every employee or take a loudspeaker onto the shop floor on a Friday afternoon to say some thank you’s.
Sometimes an email alert just doesn’t cut it. We’ve created everything from onsite flash mobs to large scale office takeovers and desk drops to help our clients land their leadership message. Create some lunchtime mayhem. It rarely gets forgotten
True engagement comes when you touch people via their head and their heart. It’s simple: people remember the things that make them smile (or cry, or gasp etc.). Being emotional (on both ends of the scale) as a leader is not a weakness.
Make it fun
People don’t usually expect their business leaders to be in the “fun” game. Memorable tactics at leadership events such as gamification, virtual reality and team building really connect a leader to the rest of the organization.
Make it personal
If we feel something, we’re more likely to act on it. Tell personal stories, share your own memories, reflect on your own life experiences. Bring your thinking to life through creative, disruptive communications that get remembered.
Employees no longer want a filtered, polished version of their leaders – they want real, human interventions delivering information in an authentic way. Get out from behind the camera. Forget the polished corp comms script and just get out there and talk to your people.
Don’t keep calm and carry on
When your business environment shifts and the existing approach stops working, communicate. The people in the business are those who will help…in other words, intervene and rally the troops. Often ideas come from the most unexpected places.
Creative that’s clever
High-impact leadership interventions are clever as well as creative, playing devil’s advocate, making people think, connecting on a deeper level. To really surprise an audience, leaders need to get creative, go deep and think smart.