The recent kerfuffle and eventual sacking of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich for his stance on gay marriage is an all too clear reminder that, whatever your own beliefs, brand values matter and can have a real, measurable, impact on an organisation’s value and the buy-in and support of its customers, be they employees, users or buyers.
In a recent BBC podcast from Tech Tent (and also check out Peter Day’s World of Business podcast while you’re there) the topic of discussion was whether or not Eich should have the right to express his views, independent of his role as CEO.
Here’s the thing. The CEO is the leader: that surely is not in dispute. So it should come as no shock that CEO must align with, live and breathe, and – dare I say it? Yes! – believe in the core values of their organisation because as social citizens their values matter to us, we care.
Inherently or not we gravitate toward the brands and the tribes that are created around those core values because they make sense to us and align with who we are, how we see ourselves now, or what we want to become. Mess with this, and you risk alienating the very people who should matter most to you.