True Leaders Should Drink More Bourbon Corporate Cultures

leaders, bourbon, impactful, brand

How corporate cultures relate to bourbon. They both require two critical ingredients —time and money, to create an impactful brand.

I moved to a farm in Kentucky some years ago and many of my friends and family could not believe it. I told them I was following my true love…bourbon (sorry honey). Anyway, while sipping a nice single malt with my lovely bride during a tour of one of the states’ finer small batch distilleries, I realized how corporate cultures relate to bourbon. They both take two critical ingredients —time AND money to create an impactful brand. Often times, the people who created the vision or purpose in most cases were the passionate ones. Much like, pardon the pun, the spirited process to produce an expensive single malt bourbon.

You experience the unique flavors created by time and passion when you taste it straight. Any discerning bourbon drinker would not water it down because it can negatively affect the taste. Besides, you shelled out some hard-earned cash for it in the first place. Some good bourbons (companies) have succumbed to a slow death through the years because they diluted their process. Let me explain…

In many companies we have observed that often as time goes and people begin to focus on the What? more so than the Why?  They evolve away from the passion and instead focus on costs, efficiencies, etc. Which turns into managers  hiring someone who just isn’t as passionate and then that manager does the same and you see the spiral happen over time.  Consequently, resulting in an organization or brand focused on metrics, costs and measurements. Moving farther away from reasons why people loved the brand in the first place.

Now a little water or ice can be a good thing for bourbon drinkers. Or for all you non-drinkers, imagine drinking an orange concentrate without any water and then with water - it is essentially the same idea. How much water you then add is entirely dependent on your taste. Similarly, adding diverse talents in your organization can certainly improve innovation and performance when blended correctly. Certainly, focusing on the RIGHT metrics are beneficial. But when your recruitment efforts lose focus, and you dilute the passion of the brand—not good. You lose your rich flavor.

“…adding diverse talents in your organization can certainly improve innovation and performance when blended correctly”

Ice is slightly different in bourbon. Rather than enhancing flavors, it represses them, as the ice makes the temperature of the bourbon drop quickly. It is refreshing on a hot day, because it kind of dilutes down the alcohol, so to speak. The same is true when you drink beer or white wine or any beverage for that matter that has been chilled down too much.

Carry this effect over to what happens in organizations. New management pops in with new metrics. Sometimes positive things happen, and sometimes not. This can happen, when you change the focus to some opportunity you wish to capture. The organization gets out of balance and needs realignment. It’s then time to get out your compass and find your True North. The organization must get back on the right pathway and you need to balance your vision with your purpose. Remember to THINK RESPONSIBLY.

If you need to refocus your brand, contact FORDinsight Solutions at 615-965-IDEA (4332).  We can help you create where you are going…

Of course, we always advocate drinking responsibly!


“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.”~Mark Twain

“Drink don’t run…chasing bourbon wastes time that could be spent drinking bourbon.” ~Bourbon tip#5~ bourbonbanter.com

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