Countdown to Christmas: Day six

To mark Advent and celebrate success in the world of internal communication, I’m highlighting a story a day by internal communicators via my blog in a countdown to Christmas.

Every day until 24 DecemberAniisu I will be sharing the thoughts of IC pros who have written guest articles, with the final one going live on Christmas Eve.

I’ll then be taking a break and be back in January. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to my blog this year, it’s always good to feature new voices and highlight what’s working well and what there is to learn from situations that don’t go quite as planned.

I look forward to sharing some new voices with you over the next few weeks.

Today is day six and this article is by Aniisu K. Verghese (pictured) and was originally published in February this year.

Can you imagine a day without IC?

What would happen if you switched the ‘off’ button on internal communication (IC) in your organisation? Who would miss it? What would they miss and why? Today I’m pleased to introduce Aniisu K. Verghese from Bangalore, India, as a guest writer for my blog on this very topic.

Aniisu (pictured) is an internal communication expert, career coach and author and has over 13 years of experience with leading IT, financial services and consulting organisations.

He is the India Internal Communication Lead at Sapient and author of Internal Communications – Insights, Practices and Models (Sage Publications, 2012). I included his book in my recommended reads for 2013 at the start of this year.

Prior to his current role, Aniisu worked for organisations such as Leo BurnettSaatchi & Saatchii-flex solutions and Accenture. He has won several employee communication awards and writes regularly for management and industry publications. He says he is passionate about engaging fellow communication practitioners through workshops and presentations. You can see his blog here and check out his website. I think his was one of the first blogs I included in my blogroll four years ago and recommend adding him to yours.

Over to you Aniisu…

Can You Imagine a Day Without Internal Communication?
Many a time internal communicators are asked to justify their value and reason for existence.

Late last year we were disappointed to hear that CBeebies, the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) children’s channel planned to discontinue its services to the Indian subcontinent.

Many parents in India who watched their children grow up learning rhymes, listening to stories and imagining a wonderful world of toys and fun felt let down. It triggered an outcry among parents who realised how much their children learnt just by watching the channel – not to mention the distraction it allowed to feed them during meal times!

CBeebiesLike one parent posted: “Imagine your kids’ life without TeletubbiesBoogie Beebies and Number Jacks. No eating? No drinking? Survival on fresh air?”

What does it tell us about the importance of the brand to these viewers? What does it mean to have lost a service they loved?

Dropping the ball
I remember a senior leader telling me that to really know if your function is adding value or not is to ‘drop the ball’ and check if your employees are really missing anything. If there isn’t even a response, you know that the program wasn’t viewed as valuable.

If people begin missing it you know there is immense value.

So, let us imagine a day without internal communication.

No e-mail. No intranet. No newsletter. No leader communication. No face to face meetings. No conversations. No sign boards.

What do you think will happen? Or not happen?

Here is what I think will take place if your employees and stakeholders stop seeing internal communication at work.

flameIt will seem like stumbling through a dark room, fumbling their way around and colliding into each other.

Sooner or later, chaos will reign.

There will be mistrust. Staffers trying to read the minds of leaders. The water cooler may be the most happening spot!

Straining to listen to any sound about the reason for this breakdown of communication. I can imagine word spreading via social networks about your organisation discontinuing internal communication! That will be some crisis to manage.

So, the next time your stakeholder asks you about the value of internal communication you may want to play this simple game with the person. Ask the person to imagine a day without internal communication.

Let me know what you hear.

Post author: Aniisu K. Verghese

Further reading:
No comms, no problem? Guest article by me for @wedge

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