Internal communication at a dead end

In a extensive survey, Nordisk Kommunikation has asked 12,000 employees in 24 Scandinavian companies about internal communications. Their answers paint a dark picture.

The survey points to three main problems.

First of all we must remember that the survey is done by a consulting firm that specializes in internal communication. They won't make money saying everything is fine. On the other hand I think many of us recognize the situation from our own experiences.

I'd hate to look like a blind blog evangelist, but I can't help relating the first point above to Jonathan Schwartz's presentation at the Supernova conference:
If you want to be a leader, I can't see surviving without a blog.
He focuses too much on this one tool, but he's right on a general level. A leader will have to find ways to communicate directly with employees (and customers).

They can't be visible in the sense that they run around every office or factory each day. They must find other ways. Blogs, podcasts, network tools -- you name it. We're moving fast into a situation where "visibility" and "credibility" is possible for the leader that wants to be visible and is a good enough leader to be credible.

The second and third points require an even more profound shift. It's not about employees "understanding" goals and strategies. That's His Masters Voice talking. Employees must participate in creating the goals and strategies.

My conclusion of this survey is simple: The result is not good, but it's the best we can do with today's internal communication structures. To improve, companies must find methods of participatory communication.

Links
Nordisk kommunikation (Swedish/Danish only)
Survey press release (Swedish)

Posted by Fredrik Wackå Wednesday, June 22, 2005
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