MaST Business Forum - What is your 'corporate buzz'?

MaST Business Forum - What is your 'corporate buzz'?

13th June 2017


To be successful in today’s complex business environment we need to be able to influence through both formal and informal routes.  How influential we are depends upon our reputation, or ‘corporate buzz’ with our stakeholders, internally and externally to our organisation.


At this MaST Forum we explored how we are perceived by how we, and our team, show up.  We looked at avoiding the cultural and functional pitfalls that hold us back from achieving our potential.


We shared how we can help ourselves, our teams and those we work with to improve both visibility and credibility to be involved in shaping strategy and key decisions rather than merely being expected to implement later on.  These strategies can also help your leaders to understand that their positive ‘corporate buzz’ will galvanise the organisation and inspire everyone in it to achieve their full potential.


Firstly, we defined ‘corporate buzz’ as the images, perceptions, words and feelings that surround us and create our ‘story’ in the minds of others.


We discussed how our ‘buzz’ can be:


  • Positive
  • Negative
  • Positive but limiting


Next we covered the latest thinking on how followers view leaders not as real people but as mental constructs (Washburn and Galvin 2017).


The authors suggest four rules for anyone wanting to create a strong leadership image:


  • Rule 1: Followers tend to judge a book by its cover and do not want complexity
  • Rule 2: Followers look for answers to a few specific questions: is the leader positive, able to give direction, do they care about me?
  • Rule 3: Stories form mental images, these lead to belief in the leader
  • Rule 4: In assessing stories, people pay attention to those they perceive to be trustworthy, and disregard the rest:
    Unexpected moments of candor and unbiased third-party accounts, communicated through unscripted and informal channels are most powerful


We debated the extent to which our leaders appreciated the importance of their reputation with their followers and strategies for illustrating the need to focus on this area.


Thirdly we discussed that two factors contribute to our ‘corporate buzz’:


  • Visibility
  • Credibility


These two factors combine to create perceptions or ‘buzz'.


Attendees then applied this to the leaders in their organisation and reviewed ways in which we might change our ‘corporate buzz’ with examples from MaST’s work.


These include:


  • Understanding the ‘unwritten rules’ in your organisation
  • Managing the airwaves
  • Navigating the informal network
  • Adding or dropping specific behaviours
  • Re-labelling
  • Sowing the seeds at every opportunity
  • Admitting weaknesses and what we are doing about it
  • Getting there first


MaST run a range of programmes which include these themes:


  • Organisational Savvy
  • Influencing Skills
  • Visionary Leadership
  • Effective Teamwork


Should you wish to discuss this topic or other areas of Learning and Development please do call on 0800 316 9090, email or visit