Effective Communications Engenders Effective Implementation
By Eric Davidson
From Peter Drucker to the Fortune 500 Executives, you will hear the key to success is through effective implementation. Subsequently when asked, “What is the basis for effective implementation” many respond, “Begin by communicating the vision and strategy, and then, cascade it across the organization.”
Dr. Frank Douglas, formerly of Aventis, recognized this was an issue in his 8000 worldwide R&D organization as well. He had the statistical data from a 2003 survey and sought an innovative approach to harnessing the organizational energy. Eric Davidson of 20/20 Leadership and he discussed methods for solving this complex problem. They asked the Vice President of Communication to join them in brainstorming.
Together, they identified several key components such as timeliness, methods for delivery, communication style, language, internal populations, access to technology and time to listen and comprehend. In a collaborative effort, the leaders thought of alternative means or surrogates which may apply to the needs identified. One surrogate was Continuing Medical Education that addressed many of the similar problems.
Peter Vloyanetes, www.compass-communications.net had such recognized expertise and capabilities, so we designed and tested an experiment. The plan was to deliver a key message across and down the organization via the intranet. The application would video tape Dr. Douglas’s message and support it with synchronized slides and language interpretation. The presentation would index key topics and slides for further review or archival retrieval. The interpretation into local languages would facilitate comprehension and an introductory e-mail announcement would provide additional attention.
The technology also provides measurement capabilities and they designed a custom survey to measure success parameters and solicit comments. The response exceeded expectations and site specific data offered insights to issues or needs. The demand spread beyond Douglas’ R&D organization as others sought the information. It became contagious.
A series of messages throughout the year delivered succinct leadership thoughts, results, and directives. The vision and strategy were now understood; alignment of operation excelled and key projects accelerated.
This approach also applied and facilitated initiatives for new systems, training, and knowledge capturing and retention. Consequently, training costs were reduced while implementation escalated and key note thought leaders at local sites were now offered across the global and would act as future reference material.
In summary, Douglas as an innovator and implementor deployed a multi-disciplinary approach. The collaborators leveraged internal and external expertise, current technologies and applications with minor modifications, and lead from the top. The risks were minimized but the returns were great! Implementation and alignment required his leadership, time, and energy and the organization prospered.
From a vision through organizational alignment, communication is fundamental for success.
We apply our expertise in:
- Crafting the message
- Understanding the audience
- Selecting appropriate mediums
- Measure results
- Develop themes, plans, and implement with your team.