Why you have a moral obligation to be living the dream
we’ve all inherited a paradigm in which…
…the common challenges with which you’ve identified (and probably a number of unique ones) were already hard-wired into most organisation’s practices?
You’re here only because you recognise at least some of those common issues in Match 1 of The Communication Game. And no matter how few or how many you recognise, they’re all symptomatic of a business paradigm we have inherited from the people who came before us. Neither we, nor the people we work with, created this paradigm – it’s just how things were already set up, probably before any of us even left school or university.
No one’s fault
So, let’s get one thing straight before going any further. No one is to blame for this inheritance – no one needs to feel defensive about it. That means we can all allow ourselves to get on the front foot. And this is important because there are two other things we know about those issues:
- They’re hurting your day to day working life, and possibly your long-term career. And not just yours, and that of your team, but your clients, maybe approval group members, and almost certainly your clients’ audiences too. So the game you’ve inherited was already set up for everyone to be losing when you arrived in the workplace.
- It’s clear these issues aren’t going to go away on their own; they won’t just magically solve themselves.
And let’s not beat about the bush here, these issues cost: financially, emotionally, reputationally, ethically – even legally at times.
The Sweet Spot
This means you and any fellow IC Specialists you work with, need to be working in what we could call ‘The Sweet Spot’. This will be a situation in which you have all the resources you need, to do the job exactly as it should be done, every day for the rest of your career. Sounds good, huh?
Crucially, though, it isn’t some kind of idle, unattainable dream. And (not that you necessarily would) no IC Specialist should feel guilty about aspiring to living every working day with everything they ever need. On the contrary, we’ll shortly explore why you have a moral obligation for your working life to be this good. (Life can be sooo cruel at times, huh?)
But what would it entail, and how can you get there?
Components of the Sweet Spot
Working in the Sweet Spot requires four factors to come together. All four are already in play. But – and here’s the key question: are they all DFVP?
Firstly, there’s your business knowledge: your understanding of how organisations work in general (how businesses make profits; how government bodies deliver services etc). And, more specifically, knowledge of how your organisation, and any business unit within which you work, needs to function in order to fulfil its very purpose as efficiently and effectively as it can.
Then there’s the design of the practices you’ve got in place.
When we say ‘practices’ we mean things like:
- the process you use to take briefs from clients,
- the way communications get approved and signed off;
- the methods by which you seek and manage feedback,
- the quality of any style guides you may be following,
and so on.
Of course, even if all your practices are DFVP, they’re not going to work that well unless everyone who needs to use them has the necessary skills to do so.
But even then you’re not going to be able to add the kind of value you could unless you also have a vital fourth part of the puzzle in place. You need a sustainable mandate which will enable you to use your DFVP knowledge, practices and skills – all the time.
So if any one of these four is less healthy than they need to be, then neither
- your team members,
- your clients or possibly even
- approval group members…
…are going to be able to perform IC tasks as well as possible.
And given you recognise a number of those ten common issues, we can be pretty certain that at least one – and possibly more – of these four factors must currently be unfit for valid purposes. So this is what we really need to address, because it’s only when all four are fully fit for valid purposes that they can come together to create the sweet spot.
And only then can your organisation’s IC Function can perform as it really should.
But why would we say ‘should’ – as if this were some kind of moral imperative? Well it’s only when the IC Function is in this situation that it can support your organisation to perform as well as it can.
Now that’s not saying that optimum IC Team performance will guarantee your organisation performs as well as possible, because there are too many other factors involved. But think on this. How does everyone else get their business knowledge?
Some of it unquestionably comes from their professional training. Some may also come from updates in trade journals, or even reports they’ve seen in the news. But much of it will come through Internal Communication. So we can guarantee three things.
Firstly, given you recognise some of those common issues, there’s no way you and your team are in the sweet spot at the moment.
This in turn guarantees that – although it’s no one’s fault – the IC Function cannot be performing as well as it could.
And given everyone else’s business knowledge relies to some extent on internal communication, if the IC Function isn’t currently performing in a DFVP way, what are the chances that anyone else can be performing as well as possible?
This means it’s in everyone’s interests for you to get yourself and your team into The Sweet Spot. And stay there. Forever. This really should be a no-brainer. So, like it or not, you have a moral obligation to make your working life at least this good.
And of course, those are just the flip-sides of the common issues you’ve looked at. But your moral obligation also extends to eliminating any other frustrations and niggles your team is currently facing. And we will get to them.