This is a complex question with an easy answer. This is a concept that feels soft and fluffy, but in reality the core answer is be a leader and create change.
In almost every instance of poor reputation, the realm of social media and online conversation magnifies the risk enterprise businesses face. CEOs and companies with bad results become simple victims of inaction. This is a thought that I detailed in my article CEO reputation, how to lead or fail online.
If we step back for a moment and simply look at the method of communication used at the executive level, many large companies are preaching about how transparent and real they are… but secretly hiding dozens of clients that they expect to keep hidden.
While some privacy is deserved, the larger an organization becomes the more gossip and conversation occurs. Interacting with thousands of employees or hundreds of thousands of consumers creates an almost infinite number of holes within the concept of a corporate walled garden. The solution to this problem is to understand the conversation and not be blindsided by its presence.
Moving into the realm of management and as a coordinator of storytelling, the job becomes difficult in adhering to the truthful and factual nature of business.
We need to accept this basic truth:
- Leaders create change. They explore options. The make hard decisions.
- CEOs take paychecks. Maintain the status qou. Excel in mediocrity.
So the fundamental answer to the question “How can a CEO improve a company’s reputation?” is simply=-
“A CEO cannot improve a company’s reputation, only a leader can.”