Folkekirkens Nødhjælp (DanChurchAid) has a strong reputation and a well recognized brand. But a wide range of stories, perceptions and new initiatives in the organization gave rise to a need for defining “who we are” and “what we want to become”. To focus the brand and support an efficient organization, we helped redefine the organization's purpose and set a strategic direction. A new core narrative has now established a common focus across managers in 12 countries. The project supports the desired organizational behavior to enable future development.
An anthropological analysis of Folkekirkens Nødhjælp’s inner strengths created the best foundation for a new core narrative. Through the analysis, Folkekirkens Nødhjælp obtained a deep understanding of its culture and identity as well as potentials and strategic challenges.
Authentic strengths of Folkekirkens Nødhjælp
The inherent characteristics of an organization make up a valuable foundation for the brand- and purpose formulation of the company. Through 30 in-depth interviews and observations with representatives, managers, employees, volunteers, and other key stakeholders, we identified nine unique strengths that characterize the authentic identity of this complex, historic and purpose-driven aid organization. Each of the characteristics can be understood as positive strengths, but also hold potentials for development and taking a lead in the industry.
Netnographic exploration of strengths among 230,000 followers
We analyzed more than 220,000 Facebook followers’ online behavior and opinions towards Folkekirkens Nødhjælp’s brand, identity and work. The approach builds on classic netnography, where we analyzed 539 existing posts and 18,708 comments. We also used participatory netnography, where general secretary Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen asked for the opinions of the Facebook users in small videos. She asked about Folkekirkens Nødhjælp’s name, what they see as the organizations’ primary purpose and why they support Folkekirkens Nødhjælp. We received 300 comments. The netnographic analysis also served as an engaging initiative that strengthens Folkekirkens Nødhjælp’s relation to its followers.
Future purpose scenarios
To clarify and test potential future directions for Folkekirkens Nødhjælp, we developed three distinct strategic scenarios and facilitated a workshop, where managers could discover and assess the scenarios.
Gamification explores new behavior and possibilities
We developed a game board where managers had to travel into future scenarios, and describe how and why they would behave differently in a number of situations. The strategic game allowed them to relate to the strategy of each new scenario, and to try and test the directions before deciding which one to move forward with.
Choosing a new direction for the future
After working with three future scenarios, the managers gave their recommendations to the board of directors, and a new strategic direction for the organization was set.
Brand essence and core narrative
The new core narrative highlights the organization’s new future purpose and focus areas as an aid organization. The aim is to guide future decision-making and ensure that all activities are aligned and present a unified expression of the organization. We also developed a new brand essence that communicates Folkekirkens Nødhjælp’s purpose in a short and precise way.
The identity project has given us a better understanding of who we are and more importantly who we will be in the future. The new core narrative allows us to work more focused with our brand- and communications activities. Birgitte Qwist-Sørensen
General Secretary at Folkekirkens Nødhjælp
Implementing core narrative
We facilitated a large-scale workshop for 150 employees to create the best foundation for employees and leaders to internalize the new core narrative. The participants discussed what the core narrative and brand essence mean to the organization and the behavior in their daily work. Through a series of exercises, the day was spent discussing new ways of working.
Introduction to workshop
General Secretary Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen emphasized the importance of the new core narrative and welcomed the 150 employees to the inspirational workshop.
Assessing the importance of the core narrative
Participants assessed the importance of the new core narrative for the organization by placing themselves on two large-scale axis on the floor.
Discussing the impact of the new core narrative
Employees related the core narrative and brand essence to their own daily tasks and activities, and described how their actions and behavior would change in the future.
Prioritizing focus areas in the future
After discussing the impact of the core narrative on the daily work, the participants prioritized what key focus areas they believed to be the most important in the future.
Facilitating the large-scale workshop
Nikolaj Stagis facilitated the workshop with 150 employees and guided them through the different exercises in a safe and focused way.
150 employees discussed the future
150 employees from different levels of the organization discussed the future for Folkekirkens Nødhjælp and prioritized the key focus areas.
New activtities and behavior in the organization
Head of the International Department, Jonas Nøddekjær, presented new activities and initiatives that the department will introduce as a result of the new core narrative.
Guiding future communication
Communicating the brand in accordance with the new core narrative can be challenging. We developed a framework that helps Folkekirkens Nødhjælp navigate in issues such as security, politics, actions, and local considerations, and simulate crisis communication. The guidelines that make it easier for managers to choose what to communicate across press, social media and campaigns. By following the steps and hands-on training of the framework, Folkekirkens Nødhjælp can assess and choose what, when and how to communicate in a secure and controlled environment.