CIPR Inside Webinar 3 Being a strategic business partner 29.11.13


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Being a strategic business partner. Move from drafter and crafter to strategic business partner. James Harkness, Jane Mitchell delivered a webinar on 29 November 2013. Full webinar is available to members on demand on

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CIPR Inside Webinar 3 Being a strategic business partner 29.11.13

  1. 1. CIPR INSIDE WEBINAR: Being a Strategic Business Partner James Harkness & Jane Mitchell 2013
  2. 2. Positioning internal communications
  3. 3. What do your senior leaders and executive team think of internal communications?
  4. 4. How are you perceived? • Clear purpose • Right capability • Strong credibility
  5. 5. Do you have a clear purpose?
  6. 6. “Are you here to actively participate in and influence critical business decisions?” or “Are you here to execute communications around decisions that have been made?
  7. 7. Positioning internal communications
  8. 8. A changing purpose… Doing Enabling Communications “Creator and Influencer” Communication “Enabler” Primary objective: Employees understand and believe in company and good values Primary objective: Employees are mobilised around company goals Method: Inform and inspire Method: Provoke and facilitate Communications environment: Largely hierarchical; one-way push; rely on mass channels and manager cascades Communications environment: On employees’ terms; two-way; participatory; rely on interactive channels (face-to-face and web 2.0) Communication skill set: Writing; channel management; persuasion; shaping strategic agenda Communication skill set: Coaching; facilitating; behavioural phycology; identifying business need for communication Typical success measures: Message reach; employee attitudes Typical success measures: Employee mobilisation; business outcomes Source: Communications Executive Council Research
  9. 9. Do you have the right capability?
  10. 10. Internal communications competencies
  11. 11. Beyond traditional skills • • • • Business acumen Bias for action Interpersonal awareness Dealing with ambiguity
  12. 12. Do you have real credibility?
  13. 13. Use measurement data to make the case
  14. 14. Fresh knowledge and insight Keeping informed: Keeping informed: • • • • • • • • Intranet Website Annual report AGM Analysts views Executive presentations Business strategy Conversations with senior leaders • Channels from other areas of the organisation • Press • Competitor websites/ publications • Campaign groups • Industry journals • Networking with industry peers • Conferences/seminars The external environment What’s influencing our business strategy? The business goals and challenges What we need people to do differently What’s influencing our people? Employees mood and behaviours Keeping informed: • People survey • Focus groups • Employee sounding boards • Strong internal network • Company canteen! • Union contacts
  15. 15. Standing in the shoes of your leader Top business leader concerns 2013 • Customer relationships • Operational excellence • Human capital • Government regulation • Corporate brand and reputation Chartered Management Institute 2013
  16. 16. Winning the ear of your CEO • • • • • • Share a published article that supports your recommended approach Ask questions that lead your ‘client’ to come to the ‘right’ conclusion on their own Provide anecdotes or examples of where a different approach has delivered results Share best practice – use outside world examples Find data – research, case studies, benchmarks to provide evidence for your suggestion Be ready to stand by your advice
  17. 17. Making your mark when it matters most • • • • • Business transformation Redundancies Operational crisis System failures Executive departures
  18. 18. Great questions… A great question should: • Demonstrate your own knowledge of an issue • Be one that others have not thought of asking • Be challenging to answer • Lead naturally to more questions • Open up new avenues of thought not explored before • Give you real insight – to the thoughts, and view point of the leader • Spark creativity and innovation • Not expect a straight forward answer
  19. 19. In summary • Purpose – Define your role and communicate • Capability – Build your influencing skills and confidence • Credibility – Learn about your business and give business (not communications) advice
  20. 20. Contact James Harkness & Jane Mitchell James. +44 (0)1483 222730