Soil fertility depends on having enough acidity, as measured by its pH level. Things can’t grow if the soil has too much alkalinity. When the soil becomes depleted, gardeners and agriculturalists rely on lime to help restore a healthy pH and allow vegetation to thrive. As Consulting Master Rosaria of the American Rose Society Stan V. Griep explains, the soil pH rating can be the main key to a plant of any kind doing exceptionally well, just getting by, or heading towards death. Soil pH for plants is crucial to their health.
The same goes for people in companies. If the foundation of an organization–its people–becomes depleted, if they don’t have enough acidity, the business can’t grow, let alone get by. In many ways, nurturing profit is a lot like what happens in nature. Thriving is a result of a healthy, relational, symbiotic system.
Now, for gardeners, there are some aspects of their ecosystem they can’t really change easily if at all, things as climate, terrain, or indigenous flora. The same goes for us–the marketplace, the category quirks, the inherent demands, these things to a great extent are out of our control. However, there are steps we can do to make what we have better, like adding lime to the soil to create ideal conditions for success. You may have certain, deeply rooted tangibles that you simply need to work with, but there are powerful things you can act to create a thriving, profitable business despite a disruptive, turbulent, and uncertain system…things like people skills and passion approaches to thinking and problem solving daily conversations, and the types of tools being used at critical junctures along the way.
Oftentimes, training initiatives overlook the pH. Right? We are told to throw more seeds at it, or maybe put a scarecrow in the field…and for sure, we all see and smell when that manure is being delivered to our door! So in the design and implementation of a relevant marketing capabilities program in corporate life, we have to get to the essential: the pH–the pHeople. Resources are limited, whether it be dollar investment available for ongoing learning, fixed amounts of people capacity where marketer workload is already high, and even company and leadership airtime around priorities and focus. While there may be a belief that better marketing capabilities are needed to grow the business in turbulent times, in practice, taking the time to improve marketing capabilities is difficult to realize.
It’s not enough to slap a fancy program design on a slide or throw people in a class. Activity does not indicate progress. Changing marketing and leadership behavior requires winning a fair share of their “hearts and minds”. Marketing capabilities efforts must go beyond technical skill building…it needs to inspire and emotionally connect to create an aligned and engaged workforce who embraces the mindset and essential practices that lead to profitable and sustainable business growth. It’s an organizational change effort as much as it’s a skill-building effort. It’s working at the pH level of its people.
When thinking about your teams, your leaders, your people:
– Do you seek to understand their aspirations and what helps and hinders these goals, segmenting them based on their attitudes, needs, and desired outcomes?
– Do you prioritize which people segments to focus on in what order, and then develop marketing capability value propositions that help them achieve their own business outcomes?
– Do you develop strategies to deliver on these value propositions, and ensure all tactics and plans single-mindedly drive toward company business objectives?
Recognizing the difficulties and slow place in driving change, of course, it’s important to consider the long-term view, but it is also important to accelerate progress with the right sense of urgency to demonstrate immediate business impact. At the end of the day, it’s about making sure the marketing capability investment drives the bottom line. Taking care of the pHeople will allow your pHrofit to thrive.