Joanna Hafenmayer’s work will always be a subject close to my heart. We met by chance through the Impact Hub Zurich, when I sent a shout out to small business owners and start ups to see how they saw communication as part of their business strategy.
Joanna was the only person to respond. This turned out to be a good thing – she had 20 minutes to spare and in that time we connected as business owners, as people with a strong vision and as individuals who needed to make a difference through what we do.
‘Great companies need to reinvent constantly to thrive. So do people.’
MyImpact’s vision is clear – to create more meaning and impact in people’s work and the world through authentic leadership development. The concept is simple. The execution isn’t so easy to pull off. In essence, MyImpact has two markets.
People who need to find meaning in what they do when they wake up and go to work everyday. And why they are doing it. Isn’t that most of us? I think so.
The key is we all have different motivators, drivers, values, beliefs. But nearly every decent person you come across in life wants to make a difference. Do more for their families, their societies, environment and future generations.
The pressure comes from the outside. Money, success, outdated systems and structures. Step in audience two.
They run the world. We live in a society that is shaped politically and economically by large corporate organisations – based on outdated structures, beliefs, systems and models that don’t allow them to get the best out of their people. Or give those people the opportunities to thrive in their work and look beyond profit as the only measure of success.
Entrepreneurial thinking inside the corporate world has a new name – intrapreneurship.
Both need to evolve – personally and professionally, for their customers, families and society. To realise their purpose and solve real problems.
This is MyImpact’s true space. Joanna has a huge challenge as part of a small group of innovators and change makers across the world.
She has to create the demand and the supply – by addressing people’s hidden needs. To help leaders as individuals and as executives to stand up and be counted – for the things that really matter.
It’s more than profit and perception.
True success comes with the courage to let go of some old beliefs and find new perspectives.
To share MyImpact’s message, we’ve had to take a few risks. Go out with what could be perceived as an esoteric message, in a hard and fast world.
We started bold, clearly communicating the vision and what we were trying to change on the website. We stripped back the visual design and went for words. We wanted people to read, to react and share. This was a message we couldn’t risk being lost in misperception.
It’s a complex field, with multiple audiences and messages. We boiled it down to four key stories that are important to us and to them.
- Meaningful Careers
- Responsible Leadership
- Impact Intrapreneurship
- The Future of Work
These are the stories we tell through our content. Joanna’s blog, newsletter and social media activity is genuine and moreover, it’s hers. Her stories and messages are true and clear. They really matter.
It’s a challenging journey, we know. It takes vision and authenticity to create positive change.
It wasn’t just MyImpact’s audience who needed to shift their perception. We all had to. The journey from a seed to a strong message is a challenge.
For Joanna, it was hard to see how ‘verbal branding’ could help. Why would a business spend time and money on something they can’t actually see?
But it’s the foundations that you build on and that need to be solid. Spending time upfront defining your story, positioning and messaging from an insight perspective is crucial.
‘I thought it would be hard work,’ says Joanna, ‘but it was more fun. I didn’t expect to get to the point so quickly – the first draft was a surprise. The cool thing was, the tools we used to get to the essence saved a lot of time and questions.’
There’s a field, where conscious professionals and mindful organisations meet and real innovation happens.
‘When someone needs clarity and to put something like their purpose into words, they need someone who will do it on an exceptional level of quality, for a decent price. Not just someone who would write a decent text.’
‘It’s about trusting the process. Not questioning every step.’
It was Joanna’s trust in our ability to get to that final point that made all the difference.
See you there.
You can read more about Joanna’s work at www.myimpact.net. She is also the author of The Future Makers, stories about people’s journeys to change the world. Check out their inspiring stories also on The Future Makers Portal.