This story illustrates the idea that everyone at NASA, regardless of his or her position, was in their own way contributing toward the ultimate mission of the organization. Is the same true in your company?
As managers, too often we're tempted to treat team members or departments as "cogs in a bigger machine," rather than allow them to share in the mission of the company (what we refer to as the Brand Vision). Too often, our "greater purpose" never makes it beyond our executive suite (or worse, out of our own heads). By allowing everyone in the organization to take ownership of the Brand Vision and bring their own special mojo to it, it makes it much more likely the customers and prospects we deal with on a daily basis, regardless of where in the operation they reside, will see us as we intend them to.
The first step in building this camaraderie and getting buy-in from everyone in the organization is to share how your Brand Vision was arrived at, what it means to your customer, and why it is meaningful, unique and true. Then, turn your employees and departments loose in determining how they can contribute to the expression of the Brand Vision, and ultimately, how they can surprise and delight customers through fulfillment of the Brand Vision.
A few well-known examples that come to mind of companies that give their team members freedom in expressing the organization's Brand Vision in their own unique way are Zappos ("Beyond-Exceptional Customer Service") and Starbucks ("Welcoming"). A specific example of how one employee's actions can elevate an entire organization comes from this story on Southwest Airlines.
Is knowing the mission of the organization is to put a man on the moon going to affect how a janitor mops a floor? Who knows. But just the fact that he felt a part of that mission surely paid benefits to NASA in some form, probably in a way that NASA management couldn't have imagined.
The same can be true for just about any forward-thinking organization. Allowing employees and departments to determine for themselves how they can meaningfully bring the organization's Brand Vision to life in their day-to-day dealings will unleash a collective creativity that will be inspiring to witness. Rewarding ideas and initiatives developed by staff, and sharing successes with all in your organization, are excellent ways management can perpetuate the growth and consistency of the Brand Vision.