Back to School Time…For Your Brand

school-profit-47Among the transitions we experience each year, the end of summer seems to me to be the most pronounced. It makes sense, really. Since we were kids, the end of summer and the beginning of school has signaled a new beginning, or at least a chance at one.

I remember going to the store with my mom and little sister and actually being excited about three-ring binders, college-ruled paper, no. 2 pencils and a package of ball point pens, all of which were completely free of teeth marks (however briefly).

I labored over the design and color of folders and tried to decide which NFL team had won my inestimably valuable endorsement for the coming season (in Montana there are no local teams, so allegiances were either inherited or up for grabs).

We worked out who would be walking with who, where we would meet after school. Even made plans for the games and dances we knew school would usher in. Setting the right tone and making the right impressions were critical.

It was a time when we could resolve to repeat our successes, to be better at the things we did well; and to apply the lessons learned from past failures to rise above or minimize our inadequacies.

Honestly, compared to the critical life decisions we made in early September, New Year’s resolutions seemed pale.

This is true today too and just as applicable in business. As the distractions of summer once again give way to the earnest pursuit of our plans, there is no better time than right now to size up your company, your performance and your brand.

I’ll be posting every day this week, focusing each day on an activity that aligns with Back-to-School season:

  • Defining and achieving your look – The style that reflects your firm inside and out
  • Supplies and materials – Do you have the people and systems you’ll need?
  • Clubs, cliques and communities – We’re known by the company we keep. How does that play in to your business strategies?
  • After school & extracurricular – The best lessons are often learned outside the classroom, or the boardroom. How do you institutionalize innovation?

What are your most vivid recollections of back to school? How could this annual “season of reinvention” be valuable to you or your company today?