How often do you come across a client who acknowledges the ‘importance’ and ‘relevance’ of internal communications but just doesn’t want to follow the process?
Nabil, the internal communicator with Quiotic Retail was at a loss to get his client to explain what he wanted to achieve. He had recently created a briefing template that captured the key elements of any request that came in from internal teams. When Nabil joined his organizations it wasn’t a pretty sight.
Every team had their own communication going to audiences sometimes overlapping on messages. The leadership team didn’t have a method to align business units since their heads called the shots. Nabil audited the communication standards, developed templates, introduced best practices and helped leaders see how internal communications can raise the game for the organization. Over time he established a protocol and aligned all business units on corporate standards. However…there were a few stubborn clients!
Here is how his conversation with John, his client shaped up.
Nabil: Hello John! I wanted to discuss your internal communications need better.
John: Sure. Happy to talk. Here is what I want. We need to create some posters, slides and videos to create awareness about our company’s culture.
Nabil: John, can you share more about your objectives and plan for what you want to achieve?
John: Look Nabil. It is a simple task. We have all the content from earlier communication and there is some material on our intranet. All we need to put it together.
Nabil: I think we are jumping the gun. What you are describing are internal communication vehicles to get your message across. What we need to first agree on are the objectives. What are the messages you want to share with your audiences? How will you know that you are successful? I had sent over a set of questions in a briefing document and you didn’t complete it. Did you have any clarifications on those questions?
John: I am telling you all that and you are not listening. Why don’t you capture notes as we speak?
Nabil: John, this is our standard process to capture requirements and to ensure ‘we’ are on the same page with what we want to achieve. This briefing document helps you to distill your thoughts and is a protocol we have established to stay consistent with our communication.
John: Look Nabil. I am not the internal communications champion. You are. Why don’t you fill it?
Nabil: it doesn’t work that way. As our client (and this goes for all the IT projects we engage on) you have a requirement and you need to articulate what you want done in a formal process and this brief helps you do that quickly and easily. I am not sure why you aren’t open to filling the document.
John: An internal communications brief? Aren’t we getting bureaucratic?
Nabil is visibly upset and can’t seem to make progress.
How can you help Nabil out on this issue? What can he do to get John to see reason for capturing requirements?
Share your thoughts here.