Intro -- Chris Macrae

chris macrae (
Wed, 23 Apr 1997 17:52:04 +0100 (BST)

My intro as someone who has belatedly discovered your treasure trove of

I am Chris Macrae passionately interested in connecting up the processes
and practices of marketing and learning organisation. Many people today
rightly despise my specialist area - brand marketing - because it's become
over-departmentalised and often value subtracting. As a devil's advocate
who deosn't mind being shot at verbally, I was The Economist's primary
source for their 1994 article "the Death of The Brand Manager"!

Many big companies have, for a generation or more, misdirected cultures
away from marketing as defined by organisation's founding father Peter
Drucker in the 1950s! "Marketing is so basic that is not a
specialised activity at all. It is the whole business seen from the point
of view of its final result, that is from the customer's point of view."

Integrated marketing leadership should be about the internal medium
(culture, mission, vision, five LO disciplines) as well as the
externalised message and product/service. At least whenever a company
leader tells me the brand is to be valued as their most valuable asset, I
quiz them to see if its real (ie integrated organisationally).

Addison-Wesley & The Economist Intelligence Unit recently published my
book "Brand Chartering - how brand organisations learn". The first trade
journal to review the book said that Macrae would need a revolutionary
army to network the cause of the brand learning organisation. So our
source and long-term interactive pathway towards the revolution are
evolving around:

-MELNET e-mail summits and web at

-Some of my father's journalist network (Norman whose e-mail address I
share deputy edited The Economist for four decades)

-Experiments where friends of our network help to Charter living scripts
(ie question and answer organisation-wide eg by Intranet) for any large
investment or change process. For example, those who know Gary Hamel's
work will know that he suggests that the four primary interconnected
pathways companies must align around to have a future are : banner brands,
core competence (?learning processes, systems, people capabilities?) ,
core product (?organising creativity and focus for future new product
development?),and, business units (?as networking partners, centres of
excellence). In my language all four of these make great agendas for
Chartering's action learning approach. Presumably, in the language of
Senge's 5th Discipline all four make great threads to learn to organise
around consistently.

Does anyone here specifically use organisation-wide "action learning" (ie
cyclical questioning and answering of thinking, learning and doing)
approaches? (Either via new internal communications modes eg the Intranet,
or old-fashioned memos from the CEO - activated as a learning process by
the Japanese "Hoshin Planning" as I discovered when I worked there in

Chris Macrae e-mail

PS As a networker, a change coach by day and author by night, I don't work
for one creative training supplier, but have various associates, currently
these include:
Professorial research candidate at University of Bradford Management Centre
Associate Partner, Leo Burnett London
Co-Chairman of the Institute of Brand Leaderhip, Atlanta

-- (chris macrae)

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