When talented people converge you can expect great connection and cool ideas to emerge.
Yesterday, October 1, 2011 I conducted a first ever (in India) hands-on, full day internal communications workshop at Bangalore engaging participants from organizations such as UST Global and Allianz Cornhill Information Services (Trivandrum, Kerala), Tata Consultancy Services, Max Bupa Health Insurance Company Limited, Aditya Birla Minacs, Mistral Solutions, Thought Works and Ascendas. There were also representatives from agencies who support internal communications for clients.
Personally, I felt blessed to be in the company of an enthusiastic group of corporate communicators, internal communicators and agency consultants from organizations who are leading change at their respective organizations and for their clients.
Since participants were from all career levels and from organizations at different internal communication maturity stages I set the context for the Internal Communications 101- Essentials For Success workshop with research findings not just from global studies but also from the ongoing 2011 India Internal Communications Survey.
The topics covered were integrated internal communications planning, basics of messaging and storytelling, ROI and measurement, crisis communications and leadership communications. Hands-on exercises reinforced their learning for each of these topics. All participants shared stories and experiences on what works well in their organization. I wrapped up the workshop with perspectives on what the future of internal communications looked like and where must internal communicators invest their energies to be relevant for the future.
What struck me most was how much more internal communicators could value add and how often their focus got diverted by work which didn’t quite fit their roles. It also emerged that there seemed to be a lacuna in how leaders perceived internal communications and how internal communicators presented their case.
Therefore we spent a great deal of time thinking through some of the most pressing issues internal communicators face in India and what can make their function stronger and respected.
We delved on strategies internal communicators could adopt that will influence how leaders perceived them.
Overall, I came away a lot more energized from this workshop. There are top-notch internal communicators out there – just that organizations need to tap the potential of this community to deliver improved business results and outcomes.
PS: Look up this skit by the participants!