Common obstacles to success within internal comms

Common obstacles to success within change management and internal comms: Why best practice and innovative ideas are only half the story.

We were recently very fortunate to attend an excellent breakfast event hosted by Harkness Kennett where a room full of internal comms and change management professionals discussed common themes, challenges overcome and obstacles that were blocking progress of programs and initiatives they were running.

Sarah Mullins from Telefonica and Emma Guise from Macmillan Cancer Support spoke brilliantly together and involved the people in the room as often as possible. It’s refreshing to see people with shared professional interests communicating so openly and honestly and sharing techniques, successes and problems. Aptly, and almost universally, the common thread was that this mentality was extremely difficult to replicate firm-wide.

We are a creative technology consultant delivering video portal, e-magazine and app services to large, global enterprises. This means our solutions only resonate when hard-working, smart and passionate internal comms and change professionals succeed in communicating how important their roles are and rightly earning influence internally. Without them, our solutions are pretty meaningless!

The key takeaway for me was that the topic of ‘new thinking’ means different things to different people. A passionate internal comms or change professional itching to try innovative ways of reaching out and gathering employee feedback often has to settle with just pushing a senior leader in the direction of the present, not the future. What gets us excited is overcoming the obstacle that a senior leader’s technological present (and often future) is the past of most of their colleagues and almost certainly all of the young people who will join their company tomorrow or the day after.

Our central message is that there is no reason that you can’t translate the consumer technology experiences you take for granted at home into the workplace. Interacting with each other doesn’t just have to be in the office or through an intranet – more and more people are in the habit of working remotely and non-uniform hours and want to engage with things at different times. Leading on from this, the communication crucially has to be two-way or not at all. People are increasingly used to being in a position to react to news or content and get instant affirmation (we all stare at our phone waiting for a ‘like’ or comment when we post something on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter etc).

In summary, it seems that the first hurdle is to earn the buy-in of the business to engage in wide-reaching internal comms projects in the first place. This however is just the start of the battle – if content is King then the way it is delivered is the Queen.

If you want to see HarknessKennett’s take on the event, take a look here.

27partners are a small creative technical agency specialising in enterprise-grade video and communications projects. We work with best-in-show technologies to ensure our solutions overcome any technology barriers to adoption. We’ve worked with clients including the NHS, Unilever and McDonalds with some great case studies. See more here

Written by Sales Executive Owen Shackman
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