In “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard,” by Chip Heath & Dan Heath, make the case that too many companies try to shore up weak spots rather when what they ought to do is find their bright spots and model that behavior for the rest.
In his Feb. 26th column, “Ten Tips: Great Restructuring Winners,” Forbes publisher, Rich Karlgaard picks up that theme: “ Let’s not spend time dissecting the losers. What are the Great Restructuring winners doing right?”
Karlgaard highlights 10 tips, of which I think four are most relevant to communications functions:
- Internal communication — Karlgaard cites some organizations as doing a great job with internal communications. Our point is that communicating to employees is critical as companies gear up from the recession, and that too many organizations overlook internal comms because they’re focused on customer communications. Zappos is an example of engaging your employees to deliver great customer service.
- External communication. Clearly this is a critical area, especially as companies look at how they integrate social media into their communications toolkit. Karlgaard cites IBM’s chief marketing officer, Jon Iwata, who has implemented am IBM alumni network, which has more than 200,000 former employees as members.
- Brand. Karlgard’s point is that “The best brands are not shallow. They touch a customer’s every sense,” and companies need to think about and improve how people interact with their brand.
- Purpose. I’ve been feeling that a sense of purpose is very important, and is something that gets overlooked. A sense of corporate purpose often gets overlooked, but it’s important to engage your employees and your customers.
As Karlgard says about purpose:
There has never been a better time to be a company of integrity. You’ll never achieve integrity unless everyone knows what you stand for–your purpose. This must be built on a moral foundation. God and the tweeters will strike down those who fake it.
I totally agree with Karlgaard about a sense of purpose.