The words are from a wonderful Swahili proverb. They apply profoundly to much about the world we live in. And specifically, I think, to a business world where employees must continually be inspired by clear missions and well-articulated strategies, to help create organizational synchronicity and achieve the best possible results.
The proverb sums up what I do every day of my own professional life: find team-building solutions to communications problems — whether the issues are systemic or spur-of-the-moment — so that a company can address them with the knowledge that everyone is rowing the same way.
My job is to find ways of operating that will help communications professionals do their jobs. Far too frequently, employees whose responsibilities entail creating, understanding and conveying an organization’s message find themselves sequestered from the rooms where key decision makers, the people they most need to be in contact with.
One of the reasons I founded my company, LCJ Solutions, was to be able to take the skills I’ve acquired in my 30 years of work in communications in industry, politics, non-profit and government and develop methods of breaking down walls within organizations and bring together everyone who needs to be at the table.
Communications entails much more than sending out press releases or tweets. It’s thinking about your audience at each level of decision making. Are we as an organization not only talking the talk — are we also walking the walk? When a corporate policy or decision is being refined, is everyone considering what the employees will think? What the vendors might think?
This is in my view the essence of strategic communications: as you’re making your decision, you’re considering the impact of what you do on all of your audiences and not just on the bottom line. Those audiences include employees, customers,vendors, government regulators, community, elected officials, the media, investors, financial analysts.
And when you have a diversity of audiences you’re catering to, your message is inevitably going to be stronger, when the information you gather is from a diverse array of sources.
I’m going to be writing on this issue and many others in this space in the coming months, as I explore the ways in which all of those who need to be in the boat on communications issues can move forward in the most effective way. I hope you’ll join in the conversation with me.