Strategic Communications Planning
A parallel activity to strategic planning initiatives.
Several times over the past I have had the opportunity to play at communications as it relates to behavioral preferences. You probably have too. You know the drill, there are some that use animals to denote types, some categorize into four some eight some more, and some are “Meyers-Briggs” based (which leads to another discussion about that). Anyway, what is the goal of these games that would be valuable takeaways if they are looked at more seriously?
What I like to think about in regard to types or characteristics is the strategic communications planning aspect. That’s because of the difficulties inherent often with change management and other initiatives that demand strategic communication that must cross the functional boundaries within and outside the organization. When you want clarity of the message it must speak to every type of listening behavior in a language that transcends or can be translated by the listening tendencies of all who need to hear it clearly and digest it and feel okay with it or give someone valuable feedback about it. Otherwise, strategic initiatives fail due to misunderstanding, not being heard, not having been mentally integrated, not knowing what part you play in it, not realizing their value, and not participating in the implementation dialogue because of any one or combination of these.
So, what to do … right?
I think, and my experience has taught me, that messages to be distributed to the broader organization including clients, vendors, partners, and internally across functional lines must contain both words and images of the message content as well as have an understood common business language within which all have been indoctrinated. So, to create clarity, it takes a well designed communication tool(s) based upon a cultural preparedness built of organizationally meaningful language to symbology pairing. Example: Everyone has read, heard about, seen demonstrated in regular behaviors, and seen symbols of the Good to Great (Collins, Harper Business, 2001) elements of “Level Five Leadership”, confronting the “Brutal Facts” without giving up hope, the “Hedgehog” concept, “Technological Accelerators”, and the “Flywheel”.
By Michael Sacco, MBA, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Stratalyne Business Solutions LLC
© 2015 Stratalyne Business Solutions LLC