Transforming industries from the inside out
In the first of our series on the Five Step Value Framework – 44’s business tool to demonstrate the value of internal communications to senior stakeholders – Account Director Phil Parrish explores how its first step, Change your mindset, is the seed from which organisations and industries can truly flourish…
Here’s an interesting question for all of us working in internal communications (IC). If an organisation treated our discipline the same as all its other operations, like finance, production, procurement and marketing, what would the ultimate benefits be? That’s one of the questions posed in our Five Step Value Framework (FSVF) business model. In its first step, Change your mindset, we argue that by changing your perceptions of what IC is and what it should be, you’ll gain far more as an IC practitioner than just professional kudos and a comfy seat at the boardroom table. Rather, by reframing IC’s purpose, perception and position, you’ll be on the way to making it not just the connecting tissue between different business areas, but the muscle powering how your organisation operates, performs and competes in its industry.
Vision, strategy and tactics
In the second of our series on the Five Step Value Framework – 44’s business tool to demonstrate the value of internal communications (IC) to senior stakeholders – Account Director Phil Parrish explores how its second step, Map the Strategy, gives IC professionals the framework to turn theory into action.
Vision without action is a daydream, in the words of an ancient Japanese proverb. The saying captures the essence of Map the Strategy, Step 2 in 44’s Five Step Value Framework (FSVF). As outlined in Step 1 (Change the Mindset), the vision in this context is to reinvent IC as a fully developed operational part of an organisation, to be scrutinised with similar rigour as functions like marketing, production or finance. But how do you turn this aspiration into reality? Citing the Hill methodology (see here) for operational strategy (1993), the FSVF stresses the need for operations managers, in this case IC professionals, to understand the bigger strategic vision that’s driving their work and the many complexities and nuances it entails.
In the third of our series on the Five Step Value Framework – 44’s business tool to demonstrate the value of internal communications (IC) to senior stakeholders – Account Director Phil Parrish explores how its third step, Define the Tactics, puts balance and flexibility at the heart of its approach.
How can IC professionals show the value of what they do as comprehensively as possible?
Define the Tactics, Step 3 in 44’s Five Step Value Framework (FSVF), proposes a robust and balanced measurement methodology to do just that.
Building on the links established between IC and wider company objectives, and strategy outlined in Steps 1 and 2 of the FSVF, Step 3 centres on a value framework built around four distinct perspectives (see the four quadrants below).
Within each quadrant, there are three specific subsections to help you tailor tactical ideas to the specific needs of your organisation. The framework helps IC practitioners demonstrate all the different ways their profession is making an impact in the corporate world.
Staking your claim
Are internal communicators their own worst enemy? In the next in our series on the Five Step Value Framework (FSVF), Account Director Phil Parrish explores how its fourth step, Present the Value, explains why IC professionals shouldn’t be afraid to demonstrate the worth of what they do.
“Perception is real even when it is not reality,” argued creative guru Edward de Bono. The next step in our Five Step Value Framework is all about this question of perception, and how you can reverse any negative views of IC which may exist in your organisation.
By building on the work done in the previous three steps, Step 4 Present the Value gives you the tools and techniques to communicate why IC is such an invaluable operational function in a compelling way.
Communicate is the key word. It’s an irony of the IC profession that it arguably fails because its value isn’t presented as confidently and professionally as it should be.
All too often, IC professionals are unwilling to draw an explicit link between what they do and the overall performance of their organisation, mainly because the relationship seems too indirect or contingent to be credible.
The same might be said for something like facilities management though, which could be deemed ‘non-core’ because it doesn’t directly contribute to the bottom-line. Yet just like IC, wouldn’t its absence put the day-to-day operations of any organisation at risk?