• Brass-Tacks
  • Spring 2022 Report on Business Launch with the Missing Column

    The Spring Report on Business is officially in mailboxes. This issue examines the finance and banking industry - an area that all businesses rely heavily on to succeed. We reached out to many that are deep in this realm to provide insight including the Bank of North Dakota, Choice Bank, First Community Credit Union, Bravera, North Dakota Bankers Association, Independent Community Banks of North Dakota, and Dakota Credit Union Association. 

    We launch this issue with GNDC Director of Communications, Amanda Remynse's quarterly column

    The Missing Column to the Spring Report on Business Issue: Beyond the Brooch - Sending Subtle Messages 

    Russia has been making the headlines – I’m not telling you anything new. But it’s not all Putin. There have been other key figures who are signaling what’s happening internally. One that caught my interest is Elvira Nabiullina. She is a Russian economist and the head of the Central Bank of Russia. She has been the one to report on conditions, interest rates, and policy. Forbes considers her one of the most powerful women of the world, making the top 100 list easily. I’m not here to discuss her CV, credentials, or politics, but instead her messaging. She’s taken a signature of wearing “signals” of her current speech; brooches that respond to her announcements. During a release in February 2020, she donned a stork – interpreted as new life in the Russian bank and economy. Later in July of 2020, a dove pin when she announced the bank was cutting interest rates. A month later a “V” on her outfit, which was interpreted to inspire hope for a V-shaped recovery. But her clothing choice after the Ukraine invasion garnered the eyes of the world – no jewelry, no brooches or pins – all black, the universal symbol of mourning.
    Now, Elvira isn’t doing anything new – Madeleine Albright did the same thing, as did Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Without words, all of these women sent messages through what they wore by their own choice and device. This concept is intriguing to me – these women held globally recognized positions where their roles mattered but people also looked for their individual opinions or personal perspective.
    Due to this revelation, I have done some reflection. I've worked to consider the world around me, what the message that is being sent by the choices people are making. Sure the people I see on a daily basis aren’t “brooching” to reflect on the current state of affairs but I live in a world of lapel pins, logo wear, election buttons, suits and sport coats that don pins (flags, a chamber identification, alma maters, etc.). The concept goes past my professional life and bleeds into my personal life. My husband received his accreditation in 2020 and received a pin to wear in professional situations – the smile it brought to his face brought one to mine. My children get to wear a special ribbon when it’s their birthday – eliciting joy and defining a milestone to the world. My mother and mother-in-law have been given jewelry with birthstones of my children, a bragging point to the world.
    These are all obvious things of note, but my children have pointed out when things become subtle. They comment on my favorite GAP sweatpants – purchased and worn since college' they know it means “stay-at-home” day. My son has commented when I wear specific jackets/coats or shirts and asks what I’m doing or where I’m going. They know which of Dad’s polos are worn to mow the lawn. All of these are cues – it’s who is paying attention to interpret them and it’s our own individual plan on how, or why, we are selecting these signals.
    So to that I challenge you as you move through your day, think about your visual signals. I’m not saying you need a dissent collar or a bird pin, but think about the color choices, your jewelry, your wear – what message are you choosing to send or not realizing that you are sending? What pattern are you pushing forward and promoting to the world and is this what you want to send? Also, what cues should you be seeing? These are important for anyone but especially for those in positions of leadership. And leadership happens at home, in businesses, and during election years.