What does it take to transform internal comms?

Internal communications is changing. No longer is it about the one-way broadcast of carefully crafted messages down well-tended channels. Rather it’s about nurturing, supporting and sustaining meaningful two-way conversation between an organisation’s centre and its disparate communities.

Together with leading lights from the internal communications profession, I’m co-hosting a session at IOIC Live next month. Posing the question ‘Is internal communication, as we know it, dead?’ the session will inspire a bolder, more disruptive approach to internal comms.

What a disruptive internal communicator looks like

Pioneering people working in this field take on an expanding number of roles that enable them to challenge their organisations and lead change. In a sneak peak of my talk for the IOIC session, here are a few of the traits of the boldest characters in internal comms right now:

Instigators – seeking out new opportunities and new ways of doing things, not just managing the status quo. Instigators are excited about the near future and intent on getting there faster. They don’t spend hours reading case studies, they pick up nuggets and ideas from the world and quickly start experimenting.

People-centric – it’s time to stop talking about customers and employees and start thinking about people. One of the most important things is to humanise relationships in the organisation, and a good place to start is by knocking down the artificial constructs that stop us ever mentioning paying (as opposed to internal) customers.

Real-time data junkies – every organisation everywhere needs to use data to measure performance. But that’s only the rear-view mirror. What about what’s happening right now? Disruptors embrace live insights and make real-time decisions.

Risk takers – the disruptive communications professional needs to be prepared to fail and fail fast. They embrace new tools – such as the lean product canvas, minimum viable products and frequent user testing (over focus groups) to get the answers quicker.

Silo busters – disruptive communications professionals propel change throughout the organisation, not just in comms. Leadership, involvement, measurement, learning are all on the table. Ignoring the ‘keep out’ signs, they work collaboratively across functions wherever they see the potential to drive change.

Outsiders – why stop with breaking down organisational silos? Communicators that are really rocking it don’t care if the solution has come from their team, office or even from within the organisation. They go where the ideas are, building networks with peers, customers, agencies, wherever there are ideas and insights.

 

If you’d like to know more about the incumbent/disruptor mindset and why it’s so relevant across organisations see our book Culture Change in the Digital Age or get in touch.