Become an "Undercover Boss" on Your Company's Web Site
Recently I happened to catch a relatively new program called, "Undercover Boss" on CBS. If you're not familiar (which I wasn't), it's a show that originated in the UK in which senior-level executives disguise themselves and spend the week working the front lines of their organization. The episode featured a CEO of a resort franchise who tried her hand at waiting tables, registering guests and even cleaning the pool.
The show features enough silly and poignant moments to make for good television, but overall the boss learns first-hand about what's great and not-so-great about their business and uses that insight to forge new strategies.
Of course, not every CEO will have the opportunity to go undercover in their own business, but here's a good alternative...spend some time on your organization's web site. Pretend to be a customer and see what it's like to interact with your business online. Try a few scenarios like getting a question answered about a product, signing up for a loyalty program or even just finding the phone number for customer service.
You may find that clicking around your own web site reveals a lot about your company's online brand. Like the TV show, there may be some good qualities and, most likely, more than a few things that make you cringe. If your web presence doesn't quite align with your brand strategy, use this opportunity to make some adjustments. Make the web a strategic priority and empower your staff with the authority to affect change. By doing this you may find your next "undercover" web experience validates your online brand value.