Articles

Creating Results That Stick

Here’s some advice Jim gives to the readers of IABC’s online Communication World.   Creating Results That Stick. (PDF).

Go Fast to Go Slow

Readers of The Leadership Report will recognize this article, which was customized for IABC’s online Communication WorldGo Fast to Go Slow. (PDF).

Straight Talk About Employee Engagement

In this white paper, Jim doesn’t sugar coat what engagement is and what you can do to take people in your organization to higher levels of performance. Straight Talk About Employee Engagement (PDF).

Make Communication Your Business

Tactical programs can have a profound impact on business  performance — if you can demonstrate their worth.  In his latest article for IABC’s  Communication World magazine, Jim Shaffer explains how. Make Communication Your Business(PDF)

Using Communication to Make Lean Transformation Stick

Successful Lean transformations are characterized by the performance improvements they create and their  staying power. Key to that is an integrated cultural-technical approach, of which communication plays a critical role. In an exclusive article for SCM, Jim Shaffer explores the topic further. Read article (PDF)

From Cost Center to Value Center

Communication breakdowns cause people and organizations to under perform.   Here’s how to create a very different and very successful communication function. From Cost Center to Value Creator (PDF)

Changing Course: Taking the Wheel

Traditionally, communication professionals have been asked to communicate about change.  But they can communicate  to change as well.  Managing communication to change is a pro active approach: It correctly assumes that communication breakdowns cause people to do things that hurt performance. Changing Course (PDF)

Playing to Win

Competitive organizations need to engage their people in a way that focuses on performance that matters to the enterprise. Playing to Win (PDF)

Creating a Leadership Engine to Power Performance

How to evaluate and improve your organization’s leadership communication system.  Creating A Leadership Engine to Power Performance (PDF)

Measurable Results: How Employee Engagement Can Boost Performance and Profits

Efforts to increase engagement are grounded in the belief that all assets are inert until something is done with them.   What happens with those assets is the difference between winning and losing.  So getting the right people to do the right things and the right times with otherwise inert assets can represent a huge source of competitive advantage.  Measurable Payoff through Employee Engagement (PDF)

Strategic Communication Isn’t Strategic Because You Call It Strategic

Strategic work isn’t the opposite of tactical work. A lot of tactical work is required to successfully execute a business strategy. The ends of the continuum are on-strategy and off-strategy.Strategic Communication Isn’t Strategic – CCM website (PDF)

Surgically Targeting Performance Improvement Projects

Strategic communication is more talked about than actually done. Leadership guru Jim Shaffer explains how communication practitioners at Owens Corning, Honeywell and J.D. Edwards actually accomplished dramatic business results—and how you can too. Using Projects to Increase Performance (PDF)

First line supervisors give us exactly what we’re asking for—every time

Everyone rails against the first line supervisor. Why don’t they do a better job of communicating? Why don’t they lead more? Why don’t they create a clear vision of what they expect of their teams and then enable those teams to succeed?

Because that would be contrary to the way we select, develop and reward first line supervisors. Read more…

More For Less

Every business leader is being confronted with the “more for less” issue. The customer is shouting at all of us. “Give me more value. If what you’re doing isn’t something I’m willing to spend my money on, stop doing it because I don’t want to pay for it.”

Customers are forcing all of us to make sure that for every dollar we spend, we get a reasonable return on that investment. One knee-jerk reaction that some misguided businesses take is simply to cut costs or do less of what they’ve always done. This may represent a convenient short-term solution, but it doesn’t necessarily get at the real issue—the need to add more value. More for Less (PDF)

Memo to the CEO from Internal Comm

p>Here’s the memo I’d send to my chief executive officer if I were the director of internal communication in today’s corporation.  This outlines how to transform the internal communication function to add real value, providing a sound argument for change.  Dear CEO (PDF)

Sometimes leaders need to get out of the way

“Ninty percent of what we call management,” Peter Drucker said, “consists of making it difficult for people to get things done.”

I believe a leader has numerous roles to play, among them being to: confidently paint a picture of a better future; help determine the path to achieving that future; and create an open environment and solid infrastructure that enables people to win and share in the gains they create. Bosses who make decisions for their people may feel better about making those decisions. But their need for control saps the energy and enthusiasm of the people who have no commitment to decisions that were made for them. Read more…

Four Steps To Creating High People ROI

I’ve never met a senior business leader who didn’t want to make more money.

Nor have I met one who didn’t appreciate that communication breakdowns lead to mistakes, accidents, shoddy service, high costs and low productivity. Business leaders, especially CEOs, are eager to rid themselves of value-draining dips in performance that prevent them from hitting their numbers. As a communicator, if you can do four common-sense things well, you can not only help senior leaders to avoid these breakdowns, but you can also demonstrate how to maximize the power of communication for better business results. Four Steps to Demonstrating Communication ROI (PDF)

Creating a Leadership Engine to Power Performance

How to evaluate and improve your organization’s leadership communication system.  Creating A Leadership Engine to Power Performance (PDF)

Chasing Relevance: The Communication Profession’s New Entrepreneurial Breed

A new internal communication business is rapidly emerging and it represents the first fundamental shift in the profession’s history. It’s good news for shareholders, customers, business leaders and the new breed of communication practitioner that’s leading it. In short, the old news and information business is being rapidly supplanted by a business focused on producing outcomes rather than spewing output. The traditional communication function is built on a model that no longer exists. Chasing Relevance (PDF)

Beware of Communication Organizations Condoning Bad Practices

A well-known organization’s daily commuication management digest published an article that praised a company for deliberately withholding information it knew to be true from its employees, sometimes for an hour or so, and sometimes for a full day. Other than the fact that patriarchy is being replaced by partnership in the high performing organizations, there are numerous business reasons for not following this company’s practice. Beware of Bad Advice; Think Faster, Better, Cheaper (PDF)

How to evaluate and improve your organization’s leadership communication system.  Creating A Leadership Engine to Power Performance (PDF)