Even as far back as 2005, members of the UK's Institute of Chartered Accountants were being advised to work on their personal brand. Addressing that year's prizewinners and the Institute's annual awards, Steve easterbrook (UK CEO of Macdonalds) said: “Chartered Accountants are in such high demand due to their well-rounded flexibility. [Accountants] learn from and observe business management competencies, behaviours and soft skills - both good and bad. To be respected today you have to be authentic. You must understand who you are, your strengths, your weaknesses and your personal values. By being open about these and by being consistent you will be able to build and protect your own reputation.”
The result is that HR and Training depratments are becoming just as much custodians of the corporate brand as the Marketing department. They set the policies by which staff are selected, they determine the skills and attitudes of those staff, and they have to identify, develop and retain top talent.