Monday, February 28, 2005

Output or outcome?

I've spent the day putting together a credentials presentation for a wonderful new animal - a pre-tender meeting. It's one of those great meetings where I have to pitch just to get on the tender list. Ok, it's great for business development practice, but may be a day of opportunity cost for no reward.

What has really struck me though is the brief which is totally focused on communication output rather than the business outcome this potential client is looking to achieve.

Now I may be wrong, but what appears important to this organisation is how many awards their staff publication is likely to win and how slick and pretty their presentations are.

Hmm, strikes me that their priorities may be wrong.

My internal communication credo is simple: Communication is about engaging employees so that the best stay with the organisation longest and, by contributing excellence to their employer, benefit personally and through the success of the organisation. That's the outcome I'm striving for through what I do......if the media is recognised along the way, great - but that's not the primary focus.

Anyway. maybe I'm misreading the organisation. More when I've met with them and understand their needs a little more clearly.

Friday, February 25, 2005

A first tiny leap

And so the Blog begins. Which way it will go - I simply don't know, but I hope a few people are sufficiently motivated to get involved and help define a route for my ramblings.

So, I've just come back from a wedding where a long-standing friend made a dramatic entrance dressed in scarlet.

She walked proudly up the aisle to take her place beside her bridegroom to be.

What struck me most about the next half hour was a comment from the vicar: "Take time to listen to each other".

It chimed strongly with me from a working perspective since I'm asked so often to provide language through which managers can orate. Too often the brief is to enable one-way communication - creating messages, providing striking images and giving a platform for information to be transmitted.

But that's not communication. How often are we asked to create the space for those we're supporting to listen, to digest and to reflect before they respond?

Far too much business is conducted in a 'tick box' frame of mind - the message has been transferred, therefore the communication is complete. And people wonder why 'change' goes wrong.....

Every ying has its yang and for every word spoken we must create time to listen for a response, to check understanding and to build rapport. It's all about creating the right outcome - and the right output's just part of that process.

Meanwhile, salutations Joshua and Annie - great wedding. Enjoy Ireland and each other!