Inspired by the Best
Influential marketers. Industry-altering ideas. Dinner conversations. Unexpected epiphanies. Over the past 15 years, all of these things had something to do with discovering the innovative approaches needed to make our company the single source for internal and external brand and change communications consulting.
Years ago, a chance meeting with Dr. Michael Hammer, creator of the reengineering movement and author of worldwide best selling book, Reengineering the Corporation, soon turned into a friendship that helped build the foundations for what we do today. Sharing his frustrations over change in companies not being effective due to lack of employee buy-in found its way into our conversations at backyard barbecues and tag football games. He offered up a challenge – if ad guys knew how to persuade people to buy things, why couldn’t they persuade employees to embrace change and process redesign inside their companies? He was on to something there, so we accepted his challenge.
It didn’t stop there though. Over dinner and cocktails, my friend and colleague, Paul Higham, former CMO of Walmart who served with me on the US Postal Service Advisory Board, and I often spoke about the idea of creating a company that would focus on creative and breakthrough communications for corporations going through major change. And it was during one of our marketing board advisory sessions for the US Postal Service that he offered the following thesis, “As marketers, we sell out to our customers, and we sell in to our employees. But the most important part of ‘selling out’ is ‘selling in.’" It became clear in his examples and explanations why employees were much more likely to believe a company's message than customers and how they were likely to model their behavior based on how they were presented in their advertising. And I accepted his challenge to consider this when building our approaches.
Using leading-edge creative, experiential communications and message architecture along with recognition and reward systems, we developed a framework that encouraged companies to talk to their employees by educating, motivating and engaging them to embrace change. It was tested on a couple of clients at the firm I was with, Arthur D. Little, and it worked! But I still needed a name in order to launch my business and really make it work. Thanks to a man named Allen Kane, I found it.
Allen was the CMO of the US Postal Service in 1998. During our marketing board advisory sessions, he would listen to our discussions and ideas. Hearing Paul talk about “selling out/selling in” to motivate all postal workers to go beyond just delivering mail, he had something to say about it. He said, “We need inward marketing!” At that moment of Allen’s epiphany, a light bulb went off in my head, too. That was it – the name of my company. Six months later, Inward Strategic Consulting was launched with the perfect name thanks to Allen.
Inspired by some of the best, this company found a way to stake its claim and serve the most respected companies in the world. With our unique and diverse backgrounds in a variety of industries, we have been able to depend on more than 100 years of consulting experience to make a difference. Because our clients have trusted us and embraced our ideas throughout the years, our company has grown to include six offices across the US. And we continue to grow through thought leadership, great talent, proprietary methodology and a strong, client-focused service model.
Allan J. Steinmetz
Founder & Chief Executive Officer