For a mercifully short time, I was listed as an economics major in college (before getting smart and switching to the far more lucrative political science department).
One of the interesting things I learned (other than most economic theory can never be proven) is a concept called the Tragedy of the Commons. It is the idea that when some a resource is “commonly held” (think: air, a park, fish in the ocean, etc) without formal rules to govern them (laws, someone in charge of it, someone to enforce guidelines, etc), that resource often gets “depleted” (economist-speak for “used up to the point of being worthless”).
Think of a library: properly respected, the books and materials can exist and be used by everyone… forever. But if a few people decide to write in the books, pull pages out of the reference materials, or just throw things into the trash instead of returning them to the shelf, the resource gets ruined in a hurry. Despite 99% of the users abiding by norms, the 1% can destroy a library’s value in no time.
It’s called a “tragedy” because, without meaningful rules on usage, a resource designed to be used by everyone for everyone’s benefit ends up being used by no one.
I was thinking of this when someone asked me where I thought employer brand “lived.” Previously, I’ve talked about how because employer brand is about the entire company, it needs to be about the whole company, but placing it in a specific home ghettoizes somewhat, making it a “recruiting thing” or a “comms thing.” My theory is that the best way to get to the point where you can engage with and support all aspects of the team is to start with a dual-citizenship where possible: If you’re used to being in TA, go work for a company where EB is n Marketing or Comms.
But the reality is that while the employer brand (as a function) sits with you, the employer brand (as an idea) needs to be owned by everyone. You can’t drive the brand forward if you’re the only one talking about it. You need to influence everyone to step up and share their perspectives.