Homo sapiens, and those before them, have always communicated in some form or another.
Whether through grunts, sounds strung together, shouting, facial expressions, gestures or early rock paintings the need to provide, or exchange information was an essential part of the development of our species and profoundly influenced crucial areas of our existence including relationships, art, science, innovations, religion, perceptions and much more.
Communication takes place whether or not it is intended or planned, and successful communication occurs when the recipient unequivocally understands what the message intends to convey.
Irrespective of the form of the communication and who we are targeting, there is an onus to communicate with the utmost clarity at all times.
Albert Einstein put this obligation most succinctly when he said: “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
The ability to understand early communications has come a long way since the chance discovery of the Rosetta stone which enables us to understand the fundamentals of Hieroglyphics, which once set the benchmark for communications.
Many modern languages, such as English, Spanish and French derive their origins from the Greek and Latin alphabets which are far easier to learn, interpret, communicate and understand compared with their logographic predecessors in which a given symbol denoted a specific word.
In much the same way that language and communications have generally become more focussed and simpler over time, there is also an opportunity for internal communications to evolve and improve, in many respects.
We at Mumba Cloud believe that the concept of internal communications has not yet evolved to its full potential.
If you were to consider the critical role that effective communication plays in creating successful outcomes and then analyse the focus and structure that large corporations place on regularly communicating with their people, you would find an unfortunate chasm.
Furthermore, the most surprising, yet common, use of modern day business communications is simply to alert employees – usually with a knee jerk reaction and during times of crisis.
The lack of communication usually stems from complexity. If you find it difficult to communicate then you’re less inclined to make the effort.
Other factors that play a major role are the lack of commitment and technical capabilities.
Large companies with dispersed employees have often had many physical roadblocks stymieing even the simplest communications due to the lack of technical capabilities. How could a large organization accurately communicate its mission, culture or even company news to a workforce so spread out and unreachable?
Today we are more fortunate that technology has opened new doors for companies to progress and rekindle their connections with employees.
What is most interesting now is that the adoption of these new tools of communication has been tentative, mainly because companies need to learn new skills in communication. Now that we have these new tools of communications, the focus needs to shift to learning how to effectively communicate in the modern world.
The best place to begin is to initiate a sound internal communications strategy which takes into account the current situation, objectives, goals and the target audience within the organisation.
If managed properly an internal communications strategy can provide a solid on-going platform to promote the company’s mission, vision, culture and overall brand identity to a key stakeholder group.
In addition it can also provide a platform for both challenging and difficult situations that arise and which require urgent focus such as rebranding, PR issues and stakeholder criticism, in which critical staff and management feedback is often required within a short time frame.
In the absence of a meaningful and clear strategy many organisations face the prospect of communicating in an unplanned, inconsistent and uncoordinated fashion, very much like communications once were, back in the mists of time.
Ensure that your internal stakeholders don’t perceive your internal communications as Hieroglyphics, worse still, without the famous Stone. Instead, ensure that your approach is rock solid and based on a solid strategy.