Ejaz Khan is an independent Change Communication specialist and the latest communicator to sit in my hot seat.
He’s revealed an illuminating book he thinks every comms pro should read, plus his thoughts on the future of internal communication.
Over to you Ejaz…
1) When did you know internal communication was what you wanted to do?
22 years ago. I started at the bottom and learned my IC craft and carefully carved my IC career. I was at Thames Water and was inspired to become the editor of the well-admired TWN magazine.
Fortunately, I had some phenomenal line managers who sensed my ambition and gave me additional opportunities to practise my IC skills, e.g. a project newsletter and running functionality demos for new systems. This helped me immensely. A few years later – after a lot of hard work and luck – I did become the editor of TWN.
I haven’t looked back since.
2) What do you like most about working in this field?
I love internal comms. It’s one of the few leadership roles in an organisation, where a professional can truly change the way colleagues think, behave and shape business outcomes.
3) What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?
Don’t ever be a wallflower, never underestimate the power of a communications person.
4) What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a career in comms?
Firstly, lucky you. Secondly, content will always be crucial to comms – formats will come and go, but knowing how to create great content will always help you.
Thirdly, remember your audiences – they decide how effective internal communication actually is.
5) What does a typical day or working week look like for you?
Currently, I work as a change communication specialist. I enable leadership teams to drive major change and make seamless transitions with internal communication.
Day-to-day, my work involves anything from being a trusted confidante for leaders, executive speechwriting, presenter-coaching, events and focus groups to film-making, web-editing, storytelling and good old-fashioned writing. And more writing.
I have three if I may…
- Start with why by Simon Sinek – you’ll see why.
- Internal Communications by Liam Fitzpatrick and Klavs Valskov – a great must have.
- Illuminate by Duarte and Sanchez – it’s just illuminating.
(Excellent choices! – Rachel).
7) What’s the one thing you couldn’t do your job without?
A regular 1-1 with my most senior stakeholder.
8) What is the future of internal communication?
This is just the beginning of internal communications. Now that we are past all the ‘seat at the table’ stuff, we’re rocking and rolling in all successful organisations.
Thank you Ejaz.
It also includes information about my All Things IC Masterclasses.
First published on the All Things IC blog 12 March 2017.