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Category: Consultative Skills

The Curse of Knowledge

The “curse of knowledge” is an insidious trap of organizational communication. The expression refers to a pattern that we observe regularly – a leader is so deeply knowledgeable about a topic that he cannot see the gap that exists between his level of familiarity with the subject and that of the employees around him. While…

Can Change Management be Outsourced?

Many organizations struggle with how to resource the change management function. Typically, the symptoms of this difficulty look something like this: “We’ve hired our technology partner for the new system and their mandate includes change management. But they don’t seem to connect to our culture or really “get” us, beyond the technology piece. They aren’t…

Best Practices in Communications Project Management

Strategic communications projects such as strategies or media relations campaigns tend to be deceptively complex. They can involve upwards of a hundred input resources such as articles, publications, benchmark organizations to be assessed, dozens of key informant interviews, consultative workshops, as well as internal review and approval processes. Strong project management is vital to keep…

Take Credit Where Credit Is Due

Sometimes it’s hard for communicators to take credit for big picture outcomes such as the number of new members recruited, rate of client satisfaction, revenue, or influence leading to a regulatory change. It’s one thing to say that communications exists to serve overall corporate functioning—but how can responsibility for major organizational successes be directly ascribed…

Don’t ask a question you don’t want an answer to…

If a membership association asks its members if they are interested in discounts on goods and services, new publications or conference programs, it’s fair to assume that the impression left by the question – regardless of the answer – is that new benefits are being considered. If you ask your constituents about potential new initiatives,…

Becoming a Strategic Communications Rock Star

Unlock the challenges faced by communications professionals in establishing credibility, adding value and doing more with less. This presentation on “Becoming a Strategic Communications Rock Star” will help you gain a solid understanding of the unique value proposition of the communications function as you build your consultative skills as a communicator.

A Shift in Thinking: From Activities to Results

One of the easiest ways you can immediately enhance your strategic value as a communicator is to make a shift in the way you think about your function. Communicators generally focus on the very real day-to-day challenges of writing content, developing collateral or coordinating an event. What if you focus less on the activities, and…

The Communications Kitchen

It strikes me that there is an interesting parallel between being a strategic communicator… and being a chef. A chef is respected for his or her mastery of the craft. A chef is able to perform at a sophisticated and uniquely competent level because of a deep understanding of all aspects of the profession –…

The Communicator in the Driver’s Seat

Some communicators are unhappy seeing communications as a business enabler and support function to their organization. Perhaps they feel that the art of messaging is so verbal, creative or different from everything else an organization does that it’s something else altogether. Whatever the rationale, this attitude is factually misguided and professionally unhelpful. The essential truth…

The Change Leader’s Tradeoff

You’re probably familiar with the classic saying in business: “You can have it fast, cheap, or good. Pick two.” An interesting parallel to this idea exists in the field of change management. Change leaders are regularly faced with having to make a trade-off between two valued attributes of transformation: speed and buy-in. While in a…