I've been travelling to Denmark for several years now and have mastered a couple of phrases.
Most of them concern beer or sausages, but one keeps coming back to me:
Hvad skal der til - what's it going to take?
It's a question to comes up time and again in our work - people ask us what should be the strategic concern of the IC function. We are often charged with the task of defining the purpose of IC work and people want to know how they should organise to help drive change in their company.
I first drafted it with Sue Dewhurst about 7 years ago when we were inventing the first Melcrum Black Belt programme. We spent a lot of time looking at the models produced by various people and kept coming back to a few themes.
The first theme is that there are some core basics; like having good channels and a decent plan. But, the cornerstones seem to be quality intelligence gathering and a clear role for line managers. Without these the various theories suggest you are probably just generating noise.
Towers Watson - where the excellent Kathryn Yates plys her trade - actually say you can ascribe real values to the strength of these building blocks. Their model includes a few things not shown here, but the message is compelling. Getting the basics rights doesn't really get you out of first gear.
The next level is about engaging with senior leaders. Successful comms managers can draw the connection between their work and the corporate strategy, are recognised as the providers of reliable and actionable feedback and are concerned with the communications skills of line managers.
Finally, the last theme that keeps coming up is that communications should be owned across the business - not in the communications department, or HR or anywhere else. Real impact comes when leaders are creating the line of sight.
When I do comms audits I keep returning to this model as my template. What I can't get over is the fact that we tend to invest so much energy in the corner of the bottom layer - doing 'stuff' -and can loose sight of the things where we can add real value.
So få over dig selv and start thinking about how you get results from other people....