If you follow me on Twitter (@bzhenry), you know that I’ve made content curation in organizational communication a hobby. This blog post highlights the best of what I’ve read in recent weeks.
Communication planning is a rarefied topic for a mass audience, so I was surprised – and delighted – to find “Four Steps to Building a Strategic Communications Capability” – on the HBR Blog Network. Author Georgia Everse warms my heart when she notes that the communications function should not be viewed simply as a service provider or process enabler, but as “a strategic imperative for high performance and growth.” She doesn’t use much traditional communications terminology, but she does speak to senior executives in language they understand – that of business planning and strategy.
Another good read for executives focuses on the difference between “leadership” and “management” communication. “Learning to Flex Your Leadership Muscles” in Fast Company’s Expert Blog is the work of engineer-turned-CEO Todd McKinnon. He notes that while good managers deliver information, good leaders tell stories. Are your company leaders telling stories – connecting with people emotionally and creating a vision that will inspire?
Many practitioners view communicating employee benefits and wellness information as a necessary evil. Most aim for accuracy, but little more. That’s why it has been a pleasure to discover the creative work of PartnerComm, an HR communications-consulting group that turns legalese into language that employees can understand. Here’s a humorous example.
Some people call it “assertiveness,” as Scott Edinger does in this article in the HBR Blog Network. Others refer to it as just “being mean.” (Read Denis Wilson’s article on the Fast Company blog.) Neither Edinger nor Wilson advocates a typical warm-fuzzy approach to leadership, which is what makes these two articles interesting.
My favorite this week: Seth Godin’s “When Smart People Work for Big Companies” – a somewhat-implicit argument for an effective internal communication strategy.
Four more good reads
- See how a custom-built social media platform is changing communication, collaboration – even compensation – at an e-commerce software company in this Fast Company Expert Blog article. Could it work in larger or more traditional organizations?
- Rethink how your corporate communications team uses video. This Enterprise Strategies blog post offers useful guidelines and examples of corporate video done well.
- Consider the unwritten rules that govern the environment in which you communicate. Adam Burton discusses social norms in this provocative post from the Enterprise Strategies blog.
- Ponder the future of brand and marketing (and this isn’t a conventional take on it) in this interview with author and futurist Douglas Rushkoff on Fast Company’s CoCREATE blog.