Should be an interesting and valuable session!
I was about to write a blog expressing … a bit of frustration with some work I am doing. I sat down with my trademark white sheet of A3 paper and Sharpie and it struck me that what we were trying to do wasn’t actually that complicated at all. It was really quite simple. The problem was – it was asking a lot of people to do something different. That’s what makes it hard.
So I was going to write a blog about it.
Cue serendipity – the planner who helped with some breakthrough thinking is a chap I have long admired named Russell Davies. I haven’t followed his blog for a while – bad move. I was trawling yesterday and, yes, as expected, he got there a long time ago.
Awesome – and it includes a video from Jerry Seinfeld, which is always good value. Enjoy. http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2013/01/its-not-complicated-its-just-hard.html
It seems like the internal communication/engagement world splits into several camps (see attached).
First, and no big surprise, all of these things are about managing change. But it isn’t “change management” in the “here comes Accenture to fire everyone” sense of the word. Having previously worked for 5 years in a top agency dedicated purely to engaging employees in large-scale, complex, global change, I would say that, though, wouldn’t I?
Second, you guessed it, in an ideal world it’s all of these things. It sounds hard (or impossible) to achieve, but it doesn’t have to be. As I’ve said before, the main problem is that the way organisations structure their communication function (as such) is for the most part woefully inadequate to deal with the advances in practices, technologies and changes in audience behaviours. Some of it has to do with handing the keys over to those lower down in the organisation structure, and some of it has to do with realising that functions don’t “own” audiences.
Which brings it all back to audiences. Or stakeholders or whatever you call the people you’re trying to talk with. They aren’t who you say they are. Even if your segmentation model is 100% accurate, which it never will be. I’ve argued with some success that audiences don’t exist — the communicator creates them, for better or worse, and the better you do at creating your audience in context, the more connected those individuals will feel to you and your ideas.