Monday, February 13, 2012

Wanna talk about love?

“Lovemarks" as initiated by Kevin Roberts, Worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, advocates that successful brands not only deliver great performance and generate high respect, but they create an intimate, emotional connection. These brands are not about mere transactions, but are about relationships and we embrace them passionately.  Simply, he says, they inspire Loyalty Beyond Reason1.

Marketers definitely understand the potency of the four- letter-L word to move product.   Tomorrow‘s celebrated St. Valentine's day is a case in point. 

Why though, is love confined to the brilliance of marketers, and rarely, if ever, mentioned in board or team meetings, even if the conversations are about how to interact more effectively with each other and better serve clients?

As in our romantic lives, maybe there is no need to say the word. It can be implicit, in the vision, teamwork and why one turns up and does the work one does.  However as also in the case of our romantic lives, there is potency in making it explicit. Naming it for what it is.

With its formalities, structures and unwritten rules, there are obvious challenges in talking about love in organisations.  And with its connotations, one can just imagine the corridor conversations...

The thing is, that with the global values shift towards sustainability, corporate responsibility and integration, developing workplace spirituality (of which I include love) is now considered to be a mainstream and pressing leadership topic2.    It reflects the trend that we are drawn to organisations, as employees and customers, which make decisions and conduct themselves in a way that cares for people and the world we live in.

A significant first step for leaders is to develop an interpretation of love that will work for them and their organisation.  It takes a bold and beautiful company to explore:

  • What is love for us in our organisation?
  • How do we embody it in terms of who we are as an organisation and how we interact? 


1.    Roberts, K. (2005), Lovemarks: the future beyond brands, PowerHouse Books, UK.

2.    Martin, T. N. and Hafer, J. C. (2009) "Models of emotional intelligence, spiritual intelligence and performance: a test of Tischler, Biberman and McKeage", Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion6(3) pp. 247-257.

And thanks to Gareth for his creative talents in creating the cartoon.


  1. Beautifully written darling, you need to start writing that book! xxx

  2. Agree with voodoo! And really hope there is a global values shift towards sustainability, responsibility &'s desperately needed. As Jimi Hendrix apparently said: 'When the power of Love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.'