In this third post on wishes for the profession of internal communication for 2017, IC experts Claire Watson, Mike Klein, Jen Shatwell and Marc Do Amaral invite practitioners to manage communication strategically, to challenge our clients and bosses when necessary, to take responsibility in improving mid-level manager communication effectiveness, to remember essential human values, and more.
« My biggest hope for internal communication during 2017 is that the executive team embraces internal communication as a key business driver that has a halo effect on all business operations. In doing so, internal communication is elevated to the decision-making table, consulted in advance of key business decisions so that communication professionals can harness the power of communication to help drive business results. My hope for internal communication professionals is that they manage communication strategically, demonstrating its value in ways that forever change the way that business operates. »
Vice President, Strategic Communication Management, Cropley Communication
« My biggest hope for 2017, regardless of the political and economic circumstances we may find ourselves in, is that we become better empowered to support, guide and, where necessary, challenge our clients and bosses.
Too much of what we do in internal communication is driven by optics, and this freezes out approaches which might not be as flashy or visible, but which are much more effective at getting the job done.»
Mike Klein, Principal, Changing The Terms
« My biggest hope for the internal communication profession in 2017 is that we first shed all remaining concerns about taking on accountability (or formally sharing it with HR) for mid-level manager communication effectiveness, and then take on this "permafrost" layer of our organizations by the horns. The changing nature of business demands this of us, and we already know that the interpersonal trumps the digital. Flatter, scattered and agile businesses will outpace their competitors and rely on well-oiled, customer-centric front-lines. »
Jen Shatwell, Co-founder, CEO and Principal Consultant KTNZ
« Ubuntu. - “The problem with communication is the illusion it has been accomplished.” This aphorism by the Irish playwright and writer George Bernard Shaw seems to have lost little of its relevance today. The world seems on the brink of a perfect storm. Trust in government and the media and admittedly, in business leaders, has never been lower. Many people feel sidelined and powerless. There is growing aversion against immigration and international collaboration. Populism is on the rise, playing by its own rules. Even freedom and democracy are under attack. Political communicators across the board serve their masters by engaging in a senseless race to the bottom, feeding narratives of fear, war and retaliation.
It is my hope that business communicators will set the spotlight on an alternative way. All business is founded on trust and collaboration after all. As Desmond Tutu said: “In the end our purpose is social and communal harmony and wellbeing. [The principle of] Ubuntu does not say ‘I think therefore I am.’ It says rather ‘I am human because I belong. I participate. I share.’ ” It is no coincidence that in recent years traditional principles of trust and dialogue such as epitomized by Ubuntu have spread like wildfire in the business community. It simply works. Nothing is more effective in fostering well-being and collaboration than upholding essential human values such as respect, fairness, trust and openness in all interactions and communications. This is no less true of society at-large than of the work environment. So, if our political culture is sliding back into primitivism, why not let business (communicators) flip the narrative. How wonderful would that be? Happy New Year! » ”
Marc Do Amaral, Employee communication & organizational dialogue, SPUP
This is the third post of a series of 5:
Part 1 - What we hope for IC in 2017
Part 2 - IC experts on the profession of IC
Part 4 - Wishes for the profession of IC
Part 5 - What IC needs in 2017