Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Three steps to building a better top team

When a top team fails to function, it can paralyze a whole company. the stakes get higher with senior-executive teams: dysfunctional ones can slow down, derail, or even paralyze a whole company. This article by McKinsey outlines what CEOs need to watch out for.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Leaders and Self-deception

Recent crises have led me to wonder what some leaders see when they look at themselves in the mirror. As if in the “Hall of Mirrors” in a carnival, what they see appears to be different to what a majority of those looking directly at them see.

This distorted reflection can be the result of leaders isolating themselves, choosing to be surrounded by people who gain the most by taking viewpoints the leaders most want to hear. It is understandable that leaders may not want to face the anger of their people or employees but if they don’t they have no way of knowing what is truly happening. Shutting off contact and communication enables a self-deception. It enables the leader to disengage and disconnect from the actual reality. It enables them to disconnect from the impact their decisions are having on others. This can do untold damage to those affected and it creates a trust gap. This inevitably leads to loss of motivation, morale and productivity.

It is our job as communicators to ensure the lines of communication remain open and functioning, especially after a crisis. Whatever the reflection, if it is seen and understood it can be dealt with. If self-deception reigns the consequences will be serious. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Useful Google App for creating professional diagrams

Drawing diagrams can be a hassle. Representing your ideas in a professional manner can take considerable time. Not any more. If you use Google Chrome you can download one of its apps ‘Lovely Charts’ to make creating charts child’s play. Its very simple drag ‘n drop mechanism allows you to create professional looking diagrams including flowcharts, site maps and organisational charts in a simple easy manner.

The software is free to use as long as you are only using one diagram at a time. If you need to store multiple diagrams which you may wish to edit to can subscribe for a monthly fee of approx €3. You can check it out- like I said its free and may save you a lot of time.

Companies using social media are making more money, says McKinsey

Interesting research from McKinsey suggests that companies using social media  or “collaborative Web 2.0 technologies” are achieving higher profits.

This makes the case for a return on investment, a question that is often asked by senior management as well as public relations professionals trying to get to grips with social media as part of PR 2.0. It seems to show that companies that are starting to do it well are being rewarded for their efforts. More than that, it says those that fail to implement social media could be making a “critical mistake”.

McKinsey says these “networked enterprise” are gaining significantly improved performance and are not “only more likely to be market leaders or to be gaining market share”, but also use management practices that lead to margins higher than those of companies using the web in more limited ways.

Read more:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

“I’m eating my cookie” – a new way to say no comment? I don’t think so!

In the era of social media every comment is on the record. Some spokespersons are learning this the hard way. 

In Canada Alberta’s hospitals ran out of beds. The public was upset about the long emergency room wait times and the press came looking for answers. Dr. Stephen Duckett, CEO of the Alberta government agency with responsibility for the health of more than 3.5 million Canadians, was targeted by the press to answer their questions. Unfortunately, he was not in the mood to answer any questions and was in fact more interested in eating his cookie. Instead of expressing his full commitment to improving the situation he gave this interview. This interview got him fired! 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Consultation Guidelines

Was involved in a public consultation recently and I found a very useful document online on . The guidelines are designed  for public sector organisations but I think they would be useful for any organisation involved in public consultation. In easy to read language and with useful checklists it may be a good document to have in your communications toolkit.

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 ...