End of February, I had the opportunity to speak to an awesome community of Digital Workplace enthusiasts from all over Europe and even from North America and Australia, the “IntraTeam” community. And their event took place in the beautiful city of Copenhagen.
My topic was once more how the “Future of Communications” might look like. A 40min quite high-level speech. Here are my key thoughts…
Our companies face increasing challenges. Everywhere complexity increases, but there is also a great opportunity for those who know how to handle it.
We digital-savvy folks, be it Communications, Marketing, HR or IT are those who know how things actually work and should not only explain, but also become pioneers in our company transformation.
Focusing on communications, there are three trends most remarkable for me.
IntraTeam Event 2019
Company and work boundaries dissolve.
The intermediates Spokespeople and “Internal Communications folks” get replaced by multipliers in the workforce. And they are multiplying internally and externally of the company. Technology opens up our work boundaries and defines the future preferred communications channel. Smart speakers will be the next smartphones. And we need to become role models for communication technology adoption.
Date and algorithms are omnipresent.
Analytics already makes classical company-to-employee communications more effective, but is not enough leveraged in the employee-to-employee communications. Big opportunities exist, which some might consider as a new “big brother is watching you”. Beside analytics, content generation changes the communications future. And we will need a new “data-hungry creative” skillset to harness the possibilities.
We live in a trust crisis.
Trust is linked to identity, to whom or what we belong to. People have an unsatisfied desire to belong to something. The employer is in pole position to become this something. But people request their employers to play a more active role in society first. CEOs as the faces for companies should speak up and actively fix the socio economical system. It is a call for a new Employer-Employee contract. And it will become the Communications team future mandate.
How can we get there?
In small but quick steps. Although we have a big vision and a long way to go, we should size our change activities to a maximum of 2-3 months. And then re-evaluate the situation before engaging into the next activity. This will become the new operating system for communications, just as Eric Ries described it in its book “Lean Startup”. The bible for tech entrepreneurs.
And we should neither be afraid nor should we underestimate the hype-cycle evelopment, we will face. After a “peak of inflated expectations” there will always be a “trough of disillusionment”. Through early actions of an efficient change management, this phase is easier to survive.
Because of very different department mandates, leadership capabilities and mindsets, there is no one best department to lead the change. But there is enough opportunity to MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE!
Slides of the speech.