The following is part of our most recent publication released online, "IC in 2017 & 2018 FROM HOPE TO REALITY How Far We've Come | The Road Ahead." Looking back at their greatest hope for the IC profession in 2017 in terms of where the discipline should be, 21 communication professionals from different countries answer two questions: How far have we actually come in 2017? What remains to be done in 2018?
Sean Williams, VP and Practice Lead at True Digital Communications, shares his views on the progress made these past months, to what extent he believes his hope has translated into reality, and what remains to be done in 2018. To read the views of all contributors, get our new 42-page eBook free to download here.
My hope for the coming year is that we will continue our progress of unifying our IC practice as a strategic function of our organizations. That means both improving our execution (we have to be outstanding at the tactics; that's "table stakes") and embracing our roles as the communication experts of our organizations. The strategic value of outstanding IC lies in these two actions. If we do one and not the other, we risk being seen as a "warm-fuzzy" for employees rather than an essential asset that helps the organization attain business objectives.
How far we've come. Next steps.
We're getting there, slowly. The academy has boosted the amount and quality of research attesting to the value of effective internal communication (see Dr. Rita Men's work or Dr. Marlene Neill's) and industry research, particularly from across the pond, supports not only organizational communication excellence but also the importance of measurement in driving for impact. In the States, we're discovering how a lack of institutional trust affects nearly every aspect of the organization/employee relationship, and thanks to social media, it's harder and harder for companies to ignore the impact of their decisions. The centrality of that relationship is gradually being seen as an urgent importance to the future of organizations and a significant influence in productivity, innovation and growth.
Research must continue. We have to be able to isolate the contributors to effective organization/employee relationships and better understand how individual factors within those relationships drive organizational performance. And yet, we need to be sure we don't get distracted by fru-fru and geegaws whether technical or merely faddish. Organizations must build strong relationships based on trust and participation – to be a great place to work they have to become great places to work! Treat employees well and they'll treat their customers well and everyone will be happy (paraphrasing Herb Kelleher, former CEO of Southwest Airlines).
Click here to download the free 42-page eBook "IC in 2017 & 2018 FROM HOPE TO REALITY How Far We've Come | The Road Ahead."
VP and Practice Lead
True Digital Communications