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Category: Organizational Communications

To Communicate Everything Is To Communicate Nothing

Posted by on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - one comment

The enemy of crisp, compelling communications is complexity. Most organizations try to throw everything into their communication messages. Then, when messaging gets circulated around the organization for review and approvals, more words are invariably tossed in. It is the death knell of effective messaging. The reality is that to communicate everything is to communicate nothing….

Consensus vs. Critical Mass

Posted by on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - no comments

One of the biggest challenges I see in our change management assignments is the struggle to get an entire team on board with transformation. Let’s face it – the process is frustrating. Exhausting. I dare say exasperating. My sense is that at the root of the struggle lies in how one defines the success of…

Understanding the Value of the Communications Function

Posted by on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - no comments

If you’re planning a retreat for your communications team (and if you’re not – why aren’t you?) here’s a suggestion for an easy, but powerful exercise to offer the group. The Value Proposition Worksheet is a simple tool that can be used in either a breakout or plenary format. The worksheet helps structure an exploration of…

Performance Equations

Posted by on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - no comments

It’s often been said that people go into communications because they don’t do math. While I will leave it to others to assess whether that statement is true or false, I will say that I am rather fond of these two performance equations I learned from Mario Moussa: Performance = Skills x Motivation There is…

The Hidden Impact of Social Media on Communications

Posted by on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - one comment

If you’re like me, reading one more article or pithy tweet about the transformative effect of social media might make you puke. Enough already – we get it! This is not yet another post about the importance of digital, the rise of content strategy and the value of your online brand. What I think is…

Recognizing the Power of Habit

Posted by on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - no comments

As a practitioner of organizational change, it’s clear that one of the most stubborn challenges my clients face is the invisible, intractable power of habit. Leaders can create large-scale transformation initiatives, or invest in expensive new technology solutions, but sooner or later, they bump up against the fact that human beings are creatures of habit….

Perspectives on Teaming

Posted by on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - one comment

“Successful organizations need to be managed as complex adaptive systems rather than as intricate controlled machines”  This wisdom is part of Amy Edmondson’s excellent work Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate and Compete in the Knowledge Economy.  Edmondson provides a refreshing update on management theory and connects those principles to the realities of leading organizational performance…

Exploring The Consultant’s Helping Role

Posted by on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - no comments

At the heart of effective consulting is helping. While the helping function is often implicit in producing a deliverable or completing a project, it warrants particular focus. So often, consulting engagements fail to deliver the anticipated long-term results for organizations. The root cause of those less than satisfying consulting engagements may be traced to a…

Take Credit Where Credit Is Due

Posted by on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - no comments

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…

Raising Expectations: Can You Deliver?

Posted by on Thursday, December 1, 2011 - no comments

Through several client engagements the last few weeks, I noticed a common trend – the importance of carefully considering how raising audience expectations inadvertently can cause significant damage to your communications efforts. Case in point: A client was working on a survey of its key stakeholders and wanted to explore opinions about several new initiatives…