FountainBlue’s July 8 VIP roundtable was on the topic of ‘Communication Strategies at the Speed of Change’. Please join us in thanking our gracious hosts at Polycom and our execs in attendance, who share the insights below.
Change has always been a part of life, but tech leaders today are feeling it more quickly and more primally.
- Communication today is cheap – there’s too much noise out there. But communication today is so much more important than it ever has been – because of the importance of immediacy, the importance of coordinating and collaborating with a wider range of others.
- A leader today needs to do what has always been important: digest huge amounts of data to communicate key points which are most important for each audience. But to be effective, she or he must also sift through the volumes of information to identify and ingest only the most relevant pieces of information, so that a strategy and communication is clear and backed by data.
- Relationships are even more important today than they were decades ago. Because there are so many more people and so much information, it’s MORE important to build deep, trust-based relationships with significant others in the network who can help to both craft the message and strategy, and also to spread that word to different networks and channels.
- Poignant and engaging writing is still important, but today we are more careful about what we share with whom, due to constraints around NDAs for example. However, leaders who share openly and transparently with an authentic voice, using good judgment, will be best heard.
- The immediacy of communication between individuals and groups adopted by millennials is spilling over into other generations and is here to stay. The question becomes how each leader will manage their communications to best connect with others and to stay on-message, as an individual and as an exec.
Below is advice on how to successfully communicate during times of great change.
- Leveraging neutral and informed outside perspectives can help shape communications strategy and messaging. Building relationships with these influential and connected others is essential for building credibility and achieving results.
- Identify your niche audiences and strategize on how the core message should be delivered to each audience, based on how they think, where they are located, what resonates for them.
- Speak clearly and concisely in language the audience would understand, preferably with a request for action.
- Be clear on ownership of programs and processes and document communications, players and intentions.
- Have others take ownership for taking actions and communicating results, so that they are engaged in the process.
- Be clear on what measurable results look like from a quantitative perspective, and update others on the progress based on data.
- Live interviews with trusted interviewers lead to the type of authentic programs others would watch and learn from – which could lead to revenues.
- Be clear on your own value-add in terms of skills and tangible/measured results and outcomes. Evaluate where you can best add value based on what you’re passionate about and what results you’ve driven to date.
- Work with those who are more engineering-minded about the value of communicating more of the bigger picture, and less of the details when connecting with those-outside engineering.
- Stakes are high when companies decide to merge. And execs are restricted on what they can say during sensitive timeframes. But working with the lines and connecting with others to meaningfully and authentically share progress during change will help keep staff loyal and engaged.
The conclusion is that communicating strategically and authentically will help effectively building credibility and relationships which are core to leading anyone, no matter where you sit at the table.
Our thanks once again to our hosts at Polycom and to our execs in attendance for this month’s VIP roundtable!