Just back from a brand workshop at Social Venture Partners International. Our work day of 50 or so different partners and staffers from around the network representing at least 18 out of 26 affiliates focused mainly on word play. Our facilitator Will Novy-Hildesley of Quicksilver Foundry began the day notifying the group that, in the end, our brand promise would NOT be developed by consensus.
This is an interesting concept for a "passionate" group of SVP'ers who each have their own perspective and opinions on how our international collection of Social Venture Partnerships should be represented to the world. The good news: there was clear consensus on the need for a global brand to which we all can pledge our allegiance. In a fascinating journey of many many words on even more index cards, there were a few themes that are an exciting departure from our familiar ways of communicating in our SVP world. Here are a few.
- How can we "sprint from acceptable to brilliant?"
- How do we shed our "Curse of Knowledge" and learn to share RICH (not complex) stories?
- How will our brand inspire excitement? Because nothing happens until someone gets excited.
- How do we go beyond spreading a model of philanthropy and ignite a "movement" in philanthropy?
- Kill the Labels - What does it mean for the world of SVP's to do away with the outward jargon of Partners, Investees, and Staff? How would that present a different perception in the community? Are they taking away more than they are providing?
The final product is now in the hands of our capable facilitator to go back to the "foundry" to be forged. Consensus is futile. We will push through to a common brand with a variety of local "signals" (or manifestations) of that brand. So tune in and stay tuned!