New Totems

I’ve been involved in specific work lately to craft the SKO for our video-meet age.

This so-termed ‘Sales Kick-Off’ conference can have many labels and come in several guises.

Yet remains a staple of pretty much any collective team endeavour come the turn of a year.

Sometimes split between a pair; one wrap-up for the outgoing, the other set-up for the incoming, year.

There’s always the pressure to make this year’s different to those that’ve gone before.

This applies even more so if your event has moved wholesale to live video.

There’s often a scramble to determine and fill running orders.

My standard steer is that whatever length you feel separate slots should be, halve it.

Then chop in half again.

Even the short, sharp, snappy ten-minuter might feel like a drag over video.

So here’s an idea for a spot.

Totems is the term used in Strategy for the psychology around something emblematic for the organisation or a revered symbol.

There’s even a Cultural Web model which distinguishes between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ factors. Where you can include such symbols, alongside rituals and routines as well as stories and myths as the soft factors which drive corporate culture, values and what its creators’ Johnson & Scholes called the ‘paradigm’, a kind of workplace filter or beliefs shaping operating assumptions.

The point is that these are instrumental in underpinning continued, future success.

And would you know it.

Each year their canon receives new admissions.

You’ll no doubt know of at least one from the twelve months past.

Embrace it.

Single it out.

Spotlight it.

Give it its own time to shine.

Even generate an exercise around it.

Given the number that may have emerged, you could make a running theme of them.

Intersperse them in and among other scheduled sections.

Use different presenters for each.

Call these trailblazing souls a different name.

Discoverer. Curator. Promoter.

Then bring all your fresh totems together towards the end for their own recap.

Punchy. Powerful. And with purpose.

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