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Category: Consultative Skills

Best Practices in Stakeholder Communications

The simple truth is that not all audiences are created equal. Some audiences have a vested interest, or “stake” in your organization. Each stakeholder relationship is unique in its form and substance. This relationship sets the stage for the stakeholder communication with that group. Designing deliberate stakeholder communication approaches that align with organizational objectives is…

The Trap of Entitive Thinking

A common phenomenon in organizational transformation is “entitive thinking” – the tendency that the longer we’re in a condition, the more we are insensitive to our role in the situation and tend to see that others are responsible. Change leaders are wise to dial up awareness of their potential entitive thinking in order to enhance…

Outside-in Thinking

Top-flight strategic communicators bring what I call ‘outside-in’ thinking to their organizations. That is, the ability and instinct to see how an issue, initiative or activity will play out among audiences and stakeholders. To bring outside-in thinking to your organization, become the advocate for your audience by using the following: Prime your insight by reading…

Asking the Right Questions

Here are the questions I recommend as arsenal for every strategic communicator heading into a tough meeting or assignment: What does success look like? Why this, why now? What are the project or corporate objectives? What are the communications objectives? How can effective communications help advance the project objective? What are the main risks/opportunities? Thinking…

The who makes the difference with the what and the how

We all know the old adage of “it’s not just what you say, but how you say it”.  What needs to be considered as well is who says it. Some say the size of the message doesn’t matter. But the source certainly does.

Risky Business

Having owned and led a consulting firm for the past thirteen years, I’ve become a student of the art of managing risks associated with outsourced projects. In this Risk Mitigation Guide, I outline the top ten risks involved in working with consultants or agencies, and how to protect yourself from each of these major pitfalls….

So you’re hiring an external consultant…

In my experience, carefully defining the nature of a project requirement before hiring an external consultant is often undertreated. This is a vital step in defining a project and establishing a collaborative relationship with a consultant. Before hiring a consultant or launching a procurement process, it can be helpful to ask yourself whether your primary requirement is…

Are you painting by numbers, or connecting the dots?

One of the most powerful ways in which communicators can contribute unique, strategic value is by connecting the dots in our organizations. Connecting the dots is about cultivating the habit of seeing the inter-connections between issues, information and trends which may otherwise seem unrelated on the surface. This ability to connect the dots is what…

Kick Start Your Communications Career

There are many core competencies that are important to building a career in communications.  Here are my top five: Project management: To excel as a communicator, you have to be comfortable with complex projects with many moving parts, shifting and changing in order of priority in real time. Project management is the discipline of managing…

Evaluating Invisible Value

One of the most frustrating things about being a communicator is that some of the areas in which we add the most value are often invisible. Here are some aspects of “invisible value” you may consider in evaluating your communications activities and reporting on the impact you deliver: Risk avoidance: If you’re in the business…