Speaking at Melcrum's recent SCM Summit in London, 'Undercover Boss' Stephen Martin presented his 10 10 Tips for communicating to employees during and after the recession. Now apart from the 'to' employees rather than 'with' them, I was very taken with what he was proposing:
His top 10 are reassuringly straight-forward and common sense. They're about creating as many opportunities for conversations as possible; about involving people in getting their business out of recession rather than imposing change on them; about narrowing the us-and-them' gap between management and the workforce, and using front line supervision as your communication bridge and keeping on communicating whatever challenges CEOs face.
The interesting part is that there's no mention of Web 2.0. Martin may have had the tools at the back of his mind when he came up with his top 10, but they weren't the key to effective communication.
It's great to hear about the new tools and techniques for improving organisational communication, but too much of the online conversations among communicators is an endless debate on how we can justify these tools rather than a concentration on the fundamentals. The new tools are great - but are useless if we don't get the basics right. Let's not allow them to become the Emperor's new clothes.