Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sing Sustainability .....

You can't help but smile at this .... I was happily working through my next report review of Henkel's 2008 Sustainability Report and as usual, I toggle back and forth between the PDF and the website .. and i just happen to stumble accross the Henkel Song.
It's called We Together, and the lyrics go like this :

We together all together
Let our visions and our values lead the way
We together all together
That's why the Henkel name will always stay
From beginning to end A Brand like a Friend

It's downloadable in several languages and mixes on the Henkel site. Now, it's a really great song. Quite catchy, actually. Wonder if they ever though of entering it in the Eurovision. I am sure even Elvis Presley would have been happy to add it to his repertoire.. I mean, Jailhouse Rock it isn't, but it's really not bad. In fact, I was so enthralled with the thought of 55,000 Henkel employees warbling this song at every budget planing session and management training meeting that i just couldnt resist listening to the Japanese version (domo arigato yeah yeah), and the US country version ( eat ya heart out Hank Williams) and well, what the heck, i went though Turkish, German, Ukranian, Hungarian, Mexican, Arabic and orchestral ( country: Philharmonia). After all this, i can now sing the entire song in a perfect mixture of multinational lyrics, with a Manchester accent. So what if i am a little out of tune. Wonder when the Hebrew version will top the charts .....

You might be asking yourselves why i am so taken with this. First, you should understand that my life motto is: one who wishes to sing will always find a song. So you could say that the Henkel song struck a chord with me (cringe). Second, it did get me wondering how this song is used at Henkel and if it supports a sense of togetherness and community within the business. Itreminds me that during my time as VP for Human Resources at Unilever in Israel, we often used the song Proud by Heather Small, which was used by Unilever globally, if i am not mistaken, in a diversity roll-out program. That's a great song - recommend you hear it if you dont know it. It was always good way to set the mood for deeper discussions and created a kind of familiarity and sense of common spirit. I wonder how many other corporations have songs.
  • AIG: Yesterday...
  • Citibank: Money Money Money makes the world go around ....
  • Wal Mart: We are the world
  • Diageo: Message in a bottle
  • Mattel: Rag Doll
  • Adidas: Run chicken run
  • Patagonia: aint no mountain high enough

Enough of that .....Henkel, thank you for this sprinkle of melodic inspiration ...... better get back to that report review now ..... la la la doo be doo la la la ...

elaine cohen is the joint CEO of BeyondBusiness, a leading reporting and social-environmental consulting firm based in Israel. Visit our website at: !

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