Does Your Communication Department Create Output or Outcomes?

One of our clients wants to enter 2015 drivel-free. That’s right.  Drivel-free, as in free of babble, gibberish, or blather. This corporate communication department is on a march to shift from an expensive cost center that “puts out stuff” to one that creates value by fixing operational problems caused by poor communication. Leaders are increasingly… Read more

The Nobler Cause of a Purposeful Organization

“I don’t put plates on tables. I make people happy.” That’s Victor, talking to my wife and me at Taller de Tapas restaurant in Barcelona during our recent trip through Spain. Because he’s right about making people happy, we came back three times and used that tapas restaurant as our benchmark when we moved on… Read more

What Generational Differences?

I’ve had my fill of articles, studies and research about generational differences and the huge impact they will or are having on how we lead businesses today. I think it’s a bunch of bunk. Here’s why. I’m a baby-boomer and was influenced in one way or another by all the stuff that went on as… Read more

More Communication Departments Add Measurable Value

Why would a communication department deliberately absent itself from the place where it could add the most value? At one of our recent workshops I told the story of a communication manager who’d championed a project to improve on-time delivery in one of her company’s operations. It was an exceptional example of a communication function… Read more

What Can We Do About “Busyness”?

Action Items to Help You Prioritize Last month I addressed a meeting of communication professionals about the universal “busyness” imbedded in most organizations, and shared my belief that much of this busyness is caused by lack of rigorous priority setting. I work with many who are “trying to do everything” when “everything” shouldn’t sit at… Read more

How to Improve Corporate Creativity…

Ten Points About Orbiting the Giant Hairball Although I was introduced to the creative mind of the late Gordon MacKenzie when I was consulting to Hallmark Cards in the early 1990’s, it was only a few weeks ago while on vacation that I devoured his book: Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fools Guide to… Read more

New Best Practice Video

Six years ago, the vice president of communication for ConAgra Foods and one of her bright, young communication team members asked me to help them take a bold step out of their traditional role. They wanted to shift their work from distributing news and information to improving real business results. Specifically, they wanted to help… Read more

Get It Together!

Why don’t people work together? Why don’t sales and production people work out the tension between inventories and on-time delivery?  Why don’t human resources and internal communication folks create and administer one employee survey instead of two?  Why don’t department heads with competing priorities work out their differences? Why do complex organizational matrices throw unnecessary… Read more

Lean Gone Too Hard

Many businesses have adopted aspects of what’s commonly referred to as lean. Lean is an overarching way of creating and sustaining an organization that’s waste free. Waste is loosely defined as any process or activity–like overproduction, scrap, rework, excessive movement, inventory–that a customer isn’t willing to pay for.  In some businesses, these efforts are creating… Read more