Why WWSD Matters to Your Reputation

In our personal lives, what if a person always dominated a conversation with”me” and “I”?What would we call that? Probably not a flattering label. However, in our professional lives it’s pretty common for planning and decision-making to start there. Organizational planning and decision-making eventually must include the inside perspective, some self-serving goals and strategies  in the process. However, brands, companies, and leaders also must delight customers and stakeholders to be successful. You can’t do that if you start with the “I” questions. Who am I? What do I want to achieve? How do I justify my role in the world?


Reputation-positive decision-making starts and ends with stakeholders’ points of view and what matters most to them


The most successful reputation-building work turns the tables on the “I” questions. Who are you and what matters most to you? What do you want to achieve? What connects us in our roles in the world and in the relationship? Building a positive reputation and healthy relationships with key stakeholders is about tapping into distinctive identities, ambitions and aspirations, and a view of roles in the world and in relationships.


There’s one question  – What would our stakeholders do? –  above all others that can help organizations avoid reputation pitfalls during decision-making


What would our stakeholders do?


It’s okay for I, me, us and we to be a part of planning and decision-making.  But starting and ending decision-making with the WWSD question is the touchstone that ensures an organization’s actions and inactions have the kind of impacts on stakeholders that will drive positive reputation for over the short- and long-term.


Marylou McNally is author of The Reputation Bank, an interactive planning tool and training program that is designed to help people and organizations build stronger stakeholder relationships, improve stakeholder-centric decision-making, and drive positive reputation. Learn more at www.thereputationbank.com.