Minds are Like Parachutes

“Minds are like parachutes. They only function when open.” My dad loved to use this quote from Scottish businessman Thomas Dewar back when I was in high school. I thought of Dad’s favorite quote the other day, listening to a small group of people discussing the recent impeachment hearings in Washington, DC. The group seemed… Read more

Ask These Five Questions and Get Started.

The question I most often get from communication professionals who want to make the shift from the current town crier role to one that’s more aligned with improving business results is, “How do I get started? How can I make a difference in our organization’s outcomes?” I recommend beginning by asking five questions. Here they… Read more

Facebook Fail: Internal Communications Strategy

Surely Facebook didn’t intend to put the internal communication discipline back 20 years, but they did a mighty fine job focusing on outdated tactics. The headline on a recent “Workplace by Facebook” piece was: “A 9-Step Strategy for Connected Communications,” which certainly perked up my ears.  Alas, the piece focused more on improving internal communication… Read more

The Purest Form of Organizational Communication

Last month, I spoke at the Gathering of the Games, the world’s largest conference on open book management. Hundreds of open book leaders and communication practitioners from around the world were in attendance to learn, share and celebrate the principles and practice of open book management. Open book management is a leadership philosophy that’s grounded… Read more

Pilot Projects Create Big Successes

Want to produce results fast, minimize risk of failure, perfect a concept and create demand for more?   Pick a pilot, improve results and replicate. Increasingly, organizations are adopting surgical approaches to improving performance, focusing on targeted segments (a branch office, manufacturing plant, laboratory, sales territory, or distribution center), making significant shifts quickly, creating stories around… Read more

Cracking the Metrics Code

For years, I’ve heard communication practitioners talk about the importance of measuring everything that mattered EXCEPT financial or operating performance. Measures such as tweets, re-tweets, page views, content consumption, readability, channel usage, word count, timing of content delivery and a ton of other irrelevant measures. Communication measures and broad business measures should be the same… Read more

Communicating with Awareness

When asked recently what I enjoy most as a management consultant, my response came quickly: “Coaching leaders.” I thoroughly enjoy working with new first line leaders who’ve just moved into that role. And I like working with seasoned CEOs who may not have ready access to what their peers are doing. Leaders make the weather…. Read more

Beware Social Media Peddlers

Beware of social media firms that try to shove internal communication professionals back into the dark ages! These firms may know something about technology, but seem to know little to nothing about managing internal communication to improve business results. They apparently are unaware that the most significant trend in internal communication management today is the… Read more

When Adding Value Is Real

“What gets measured, gets managed.” This phrase, most often attributed to management guru Peter Drucker, is widely quoted in business circles. The easiest way to understand it is by invoking its inverse.  “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This Thursday, I’ll join three of my fellow International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Fellows to discuss the importance of… Read more

Do You Know Why You Exist? Go Ahead, Tell Me.

I’m sure most people leading businesses know what they do, regardless of their organization’s size or industry category. Their people can probably describe the products and services they sell, and most know how they do what they do. But very few leaders can clearly explain why they do what they do. An increasing number of… Read more