What five internal communication innovations will provide the best pathway towards the future? Where do we need to be headed and what’s around the corner for IC pros?

Yesterday I wrote about a project I’m working on to identify the future skills that PR practitioners need and today I’m thought I’d highlight a report that Melcrum shared with me ahead of launching the Executive Summary today.

Inside Internal Communication: Groundbreaking Innovations for a New Future looks at five internal communication innovations that are “the best of a new future” and has been written following months of conversations with industry practitioners, expert consultants and experienced academics,

The five innovations are:

1. Agile processes for improved planning
What this means for IC pros is the need to work across all departments, cross-functionally and constantly innovate. Strategy and planning needs to have a sophisticated approach, taking intricacies from different internal contexts into account. Crucially, the internal comms planning needs to align with external comms – topic regular readers will know I’m keen on!

2. Driving dialogue to enhance employee advocacy
Employees want to understand the big picture and why it’s crucial, and – importantly – they aspire to play a role in helping the organisation achieve it. What this means for IC pros is being tapped into conversations and knowing how your workforce communicate.

3. Systematic collaboration to unlock better business results
I like the way Melcrum describes this. It involves using a framework of five components – strategy, structure, people, incentives and lateral mechanisms, i.e. “connective tissue” – to bring collaboration alive in a meaningful way. I particularly like this point because underpinning any collaboration has to be a focus on business results. I have conversations most weeks about this with people in my network – you need to align everything you are doing to encourage collaboration to the business and what it’s trying to achieve.

4. Shifting the social media focus for improved ROI
Investment in internal social media platforms has exploded (ROI stands for return on investment). But while conversations focus on the technology and its features, rather than workflows and benefits to employees, many organisations have yet to exploit their full potential.

5. Redefined competencies for a new world
We’re now as much organisational connectors as tactical experts, required to encompass traditional functional responsibilities along with new competencies – see more information below in the eras chart.

Victoria Mellor, CEO and CO-Founder of Melcrum said: “With every new era comes a new mantle. The past year has highlighted ours. It’s a gear change that calls for new skills and a shift in the way we see ourselves and what we do. The future of Internal Communication, in what is now an ever-evolving and connected world, depends on it.”

ErasAmong the highlights of the exec summary is a chart defining the ‘eras of internal communication’ – from craft experts, to strategic partners to organisational connectors (pictured).

I found this interesting because it revealed the roles that internal communication professional have has expanded – the existing roles from 1940 onwards of entertaining, informing, persuading and engaging are still prevalent.

However, additional roles have been added into the mix over the years including driving dialogue, social media, understanding employees, collaboration and communities and networks.

It’s important to note that the roles in the original eras have not been replaced, but the evolution of internal communication is continuing, which means as IC pros we are required to have more strings to our bow. I wonder what would be added to that chart in 10 or 20 years time. Will we see any of the roles being replaced or purely added to?

Inside Internal Communication: Groundbreaking Innovations for a New Future revealed that organisations who succeed “share two vital straetgies in common” – they’re not merely engaging emplyees but actively empowering them. Not only that, they are connecting those empowered employees with each other in “authentic, dynamic and creative ways so they can work together to bring about exceptional business results” – do you recognise this?

MelcrumIs that true for your organisation? Authenticity is key and Melcrum says organisations with this approach are increasing customer satisfaction by over 40 per cent, improving profitability by nearly 30 per cent and boosting overall performance by 36 per cent.

Evidence in the report suggests companies can enjoy competitive advantages if they create conditions for their employees to thrive by empowering them. See more info in the image to the right – How collaboration impacts business performance.

Congratulations to Melcrum for publishing this exec summary. I think it’s packed full of useful information and know that people studying internal communication will find it particularly useful to have such up-to-date thinking and research.

What do you make of it? Do you agree with the information I’ve highlighted or have an alternative view? You’re welcome to comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

Want to read even more? Download your copy here (free) of Inside Internal Communication: Groundbreaking Innovations for a New Future.

Post author: Rachel Miller

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