It’s too easy to be green

Nothing wrong with a good fad (which is even better than a trend, but not quite as good as a craze). That is, as long as we recognize the ultimate insignificance and/or absurdity of said fad.

Here’s a couple of the latest. Newest diet fad: eating only foods that start with the letter Q. This includes quail, quince, quinine water, quesadillas, and apparently nothing else – your diet is so limited you lose interest in eating, shedding pounds instantly. Newest energy fad: powering everything with “biofuels,” or for a more accurate description, left-over deep fry oil. (Hey, did anyong notice that after the last space shuttle launch, Florida smelled like onion rings?)

And naturally, the latest employer brand fad: we’re a green/socially responsible/saving the planet all by ourselves in our spare time company.

The intention is great, and appreciated – it’s the application that leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, people are interested if their company is a net positive when it comes to the community and the environment. However, unless your organization is doing something remarkable to that end (and no, having blue recycling receptacles doesn’t count), you’re not going to create much in the way of differentiation.

I get why some companies have to march to this tune, and it’s usually because they have to clean up their own real or perceived environmental mess. As for the rest of you, put it in perspective. Recognition, advancement, respect, fulfillment, and price-point attributes like compensation and benefits still carry the day. Get those right and you’ll never have to worry about any positioning fads.

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Thomas Delorme
Written by Thomas Delorme

VP, Digital Products & Strategy

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