This blog is about the relationship between organizations and the people who work for them and the communities they operate in. And, it’s dedicated to the 100s of millions of people around the world who go to work every day wanting to do a great job.
Archive for March, 2010
At the time, I found the nunâ€™s description of the disciplined efficiency of the Vatican communication at once awe inspiring and horrifying [see earlier post].Â And, even more now as every day brings news of new sexual abuse scandals and questions about who knew what and when?
I have no â€˜insideâ€™ knowledge and use the situation of the Church to explore what can and does go wrong in organizations and perhaps gain some understanding of what that might mean to us as communicators.
As an organization, the Church had much that corporate communicators wish for:
- A clarity of vision, mission and values [more on this later]
- A trusted and recognized brand
- Strong and visible and articulate leadership
- Powerful rituals and symbols
- A relationship rather than a transactional focus to clients
- Few layers between the CEO to the front line
- A structured and disciplined approach to communicating
- A continuous flow of rich information out of HQ and back from the â€˜front linesâ€™
- A global network of potential communicators [priests] who by calling and training are more empathetic than your average manager
- Opportunity for weekly conversation with clients and potential clients.
So, what happened?Â And what can we learn from this? [to follow]
Imagine youâ€™re an employee at Axor, a large Montreal development company. You wake up one day earlier this month to read that your president and chairman has been arrested and jailed in Florida for drug possession. Turns out he was carrying valium and didnâ€™t have his prescription with him. So the good news is that the arrest was the result of a silly technicality. How many of us carry our prescriptions with us when we travel? You’re sympathetic and probably supportive.
The less good news is that you now know your top executive is taking prescription drugs to reduce anxiety.
Whatâ€™s he so anxious about that heâ€™s taking valium? If itâ€™s about business should you be anxious too? If itâ€™s something else can he be fully focused on the business and on this drug?
So from a communication point of this little moment is interesting and potentially instructive.
As an institution when, what and how would you communicate on this with employees?Â clients?Â Or would you?