Shake it up, Baby!

“Well, shake it up, baby” – the opening line of an early Beatles song (Twist and Shout) – is often what leaders need to do to initiate large scale change. Disruptive innovation isn’t a new phenomenon in the business world. Clayton Christensen, Harvard professor and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, popularized disruptive innovation as a… Read more

Business Strategy Drives Communication Strategy

Communication measures must be aligned with an organization’s measures. Why should the two entities work at what could be cross purposes? Communication should be managed to improve results that the company, its customers and ultimately shareholders care about? And, it needs to do so with an acceptable return on investment, meaning the cost to create… Read more

Vision First!

Kristen and Jason sit at a table with a divider between them.  Each has a box containing a 500-piece puzzle.  Kristen has the box with its original top, which pictures the completed puzzle.  Jason’s box has no top, with only the puzzle pieces in the bottom half. They are invited to begin assembling their puzzle,… Read more

Delivering Meaning in a Digital World

I’m turning this “Leadership Report” issue over to Roger D’Aprix, a dear friend, former colleague, author of seven communication books and the preeminent leader in the organizational communication practice.  Roger was interviewed in advance of the November 7th launch of his four-week course, “Delivering Meaning in a Digital World.” Khyla Flores is with the International… Read more

Finding ROI in Communications Audits

Talk about teaching an old dog new tricks… The venerable communication audit has been repurposed and now is playing a critical role in how organizations are managing communication to improve results. The communication audit has been around for decades.  It has been used to measure the effectiveness of formal communication channels such as newsletters, wall… Read more

First Enron; Now Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo and its CEO John Stumpf have no doubt had better weeks than last week. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Wells $185 million for opening deposit accounts and transferring funds without customers’ approval. This came five years after Wells paid $85 million in fines for selling higher interest rate mortgages to customers who… Read more

Root Cause Analysis Can Make Problems Go Away Forever

In my last Leadership Report, I wrote about a company whose managers told me they planned to address performance problems I had helped them identify by using single-serve tactics rather than attacking root causes. Another corporate leader suggested last week that problems his team was having might go away if he provided better training. I… Read more

Touch Screen TVs Don’t Fix Safety

I conducted a communication assessment of an under-performing operation inside a larger company. It has a poor safety record and is missing its quality, service-delivery, productivity and cost goals. Employee retention rates are poor. The assessment revealed no core communication process managed by the leadership. People throughout the operation complained about disconnected, often-conflicting information that… Read more

Working Backwards from Results to Activity

Maria Constantinescu, president of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) in Montreal and I recorded a video interview this week that was a lot of fun and we hope will be valuable to communication practitioners across Canada and perhaps the US. We spoke about the shift taking place in the communication discipline–a move from… Read more

Mixed Messages Can Undermine Performance

Ron called me after he walked out of a meeting with top supply chain leaders at a large consumer goods manufacturer, where Ron was a senior director of communication. The company had initiated a plan to reduce product damage across its network, especially in its distribution centers (DCs), and the supply chain leaders had heard… Read more