Thursday, July 29, 2010

Implications of social media for your organisation

This artice I wrote for Health Manager examines the implications of social media for the health service. The implications are equally relevant to all types of organisations. Ensuring you and your employees are living your brand is more important than ever. Building two-way communication with your employees is essential. You can read the article here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lack of employee trust – a cause for concern.

Many employee focus groups and interviews I have undertaken demonstrate that many organisations suffer from a lack of trust. Employees don’t trust their leaders to follow through on what they say or to give them the facts in a clear and simple manner.

If you are looking to rebuild trust within your organisation, start by opening up two-way conversation channels with your employees, to find out what is really on their minds.

These simple steps are the first along to the path to building an effective internal communication strategy and building employee morale and motivation.

-M.B.W.A (Manage By Walking About) Leaders need be frequently visible to employees.

- Employees should have opportunities to ask questions and offer input. An electronic question and answer forum is very useful for this.

- Communications needs to address the major questions on employees’ minds. Employees also need to know that their leaders will share the good, the bad and the ugly news without spinning.

- Consistent messages will be identified and communicated frequently and persistently. These should be linked to your organisation’s strategy and what the organisation wishes to achieve, and most importantly, how employees can play an important role in achieving these changes.

- Train your managers and middle managers how to communicate effectively with their staff. I run training workshops with organizations on this issue and the results are very fulfilling for both managers and staff.

- Ask staff for the feedback about the new communication channels. This measurement will be the key to you winning more management support.

You can also use the feedback from staff to build a communication strategy that reflects the reality of your own organisation.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Money is not your employees main motivator

I discovered this great 11 minute video, with fantastic illustrations, that argues that money is not the main motivator for employees. It argues that the carrot and stick approach only works in certain circumstances but fails a majority of the time when cognitive skills come into play. The case is very well made and is worth noting if your organisation is considering introducing a financial recognition and reward scheme.

Check is out on!

What are your views?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Organisational culture

The way we do things around here” often defines culture. So, how do you instil culture in an organisation. Edgar Schein in his book “Organizational Culture and Leadership” provides some clues.

He outlines the Primary Embedding Mechanisms for establishing culture as:

· What leaders pay attention to, measure, and control on a regular basis

· How leaders react to critical incidents and organizational crises

· How leaders allocate resources

· Deliberate role modeling, teaching, and coaching

· How leaders allocate rewards and status

· How leaders recruit, select, promote and excommunicate

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Going too far: Utah Attorney General Tweets Execution

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff gave twitter a real morbid twist when he tweeted about Utah inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner’s execution by firing squad.
Shurtleff actually posted not one, not two, but three tweets.
Do you want to read them? Click on the link below.

Number One
A solemn day. Barring a stay by Sup Ct, & with my final nod, Utah will use most extreme power & execute a killer. Mourn his victims. Justice

Number Two:
I just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner’s execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims.

And finally, number three:
We will be streaming live my press conference as soon as I’m told Gardner is dead. Watch it at

I think we can conclude that Shurtleff is certainly a master of self-promotion (his tweets got coverage around the globe) but is this right?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fostering Start-ups at University

You can see why universities want to get foster potentially breakthrough research projects when you see could be on offer. The ultimate example of a university that has truly benefited from fostering a start-up was Stanford University. One of Google’s main assets, the Page Rank patient, is owned by Stanford University. When the initial public offering took place for Google on August 18, 2004, one of the big winners was Stanford University. When the IPO was complete, their shares were worth approximately $179.5 million. Stanford cashed in some of its assets immediately raising a cool $15.6million overnight. Nice work!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Employee newsletter -- print or online?

E.newsletters or e-zines are fast becoming the favoured method of producing newsletters. So is it the solution all newsletter producers have been looking for?

The e-zine certainly has many advantages. It’s easy to create and can be done as the news comes in rather than waiting til the end of the month and gathering all the information together for layout. They can be great for both internal and external audiences and e-zines are sometimes favoured by employees who are desk based and who use computers regularly. The other great advantage is that with most e-zine applications you can track results and see how many people have opened the newsletter and which articles they have read. This can be very useful information in shaping your communication message in the future.

The big drawback however is obvious – your newsletter is no longer printed in hard copy. If staff members are acknowledged they like to take home a hard copy. Printing the online version just isn’t the same. The other disadvantage is that it is less portable. Staff can no longer pick up the newsletter on the way into the canteen and flick through it over coffee, it is no longer left in staff areas where someone with a few spare moments can pick it up and read. Also sometimes staff may share access to a computer and therefore do not have time to sit down and spend 15minutes reading the newsletter.

In the end, it really depends on your audience. If a majority of your audience have access to a computer it can be very beneficial. If this is not the case, there is little point moving online.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Corporate events; scrap or save.

There is a lot of debate, given the current economic climate, surrounding whether large corporate events should be scraped in order to cut costs. Some marketing and communication experts urge the scrapping of the big ‘set piece’ events. However, others argue that these events are much more than the sum of their parts – they are part of the organisation’s culture and can contribute to building and maintaining employee engagement.

I think Leandro Herrero, a management thinker I read, expresses it well when we says, "[Events] serve the extra-functionality of any ritual: they create a glue, a link, a sense of belonging (even if temporary), a ‘reason d’ĂȘtre’, a door to get through, a point in the calendar that provides some sort of meaning, a punctuation in time, ‘something to go to’, or to ‘get through’”.

I agree, I vote to save.

Marco Greenberg - Meeting a force of PR Nature

I have this afternoon come out of a truly inspiring session at the International Association of Business Communicators World Conference in ...