When I spoke with Evan Morse, a millennial living and working in Brattleboro, he shared with me that he has a bad taste for money and the pursuit of wealth. My conversations with local millennials are starting to inform a sense that this generation gravitates towards brands and businesses that prioritize the well-being of their employees, leaning towards smaller businesses producing a consistent product.
“I really don’t like the mistreatment of lower-level employees. The concept of administration dumping all the crap work onto lower paid employees is unethical. If a business structure has someone at the top getting paid more—they should still be elbow deep in everything.”
My conversation with Evan got me thinking about integrity. It’s a tricky little word—a value more than an idea. Have you ever had someone tell you to “Just be yourself?” The “just” implies that it is an easy task. I don’t know about you but it’s not always easy for me. I have my moments when I slay, but it takes werk. That’s not a typo—werk is way more intense than work. My thought is that the challenge in it involves maintaining integrity. How can we have a sense of self so deeply rooted that it resonates across all our words, actions, and interactions? And can that presence pass the test of time?
Falyn defines personal integrity as: “Making sure that the decisions you make, the way you act in the world, the things and people you choose to engage with are all aligned with your beliefs. A way of operating within your life, where your head, heart and gut are in alignment.”
We aim to hold ourselves responsible to maintain this sense of self within the freedom to choose our own values and beliefs, knowing they may be, and likely will be, challenged in the world. Businesses are asked to do the same thing but within the context of an organization made up of many people with many beliefs working to serve an, often, even larger audience with their own respective beliefs.
It is a challenge, for sure, to find balance and even harder to be consistent in this effort. An enterprise’s success can hinge on its level of business integrity. Joe puts it plainly: “At this point, the ability to effectively call out any organization is ubiquitous and immediate. Business integrity used to be a choice, now it’s a requirement. People will make you pay for your s#@%.” The world is watching and their expectations are high—not only pertaining to the goods or services you sell but YOU. Who you are fundamentally and what you believe about the world and the people in it now serves as a strong sway for the newest crop of consumers.
As a part of our process, we want to understand what integrity means to you and your business or organization. One of Carrie’s missions in her leadership at New Ground Creative is to “create brands that truly reflect your business and personality. This brings you freedom and energy. Integrity plays a huge part in retaining loyalty and if your marketing is driven by honesty and sincerity it will create mutual value for your audience.” We are here for you and we invite you to propel your business forward through introspection. This process takes time. Like boiling sap into maple syrup—patience and a commitment to the process results in something valuable and sweet.
Photo by Alina Semenovich.