This post first appeared on my Linkedin page:
While most global capability centers have a communication function supporting the business and brand, there is often a gap between expectation and reality. When communication teams at global capability centers begin operating, the focus is heavily on establishing basic processes. As the team matures and gains the confidence of stakeholders, it adds more value to the business.
Later in the journey, when the team is running at full steam, there are opportunities to pitch communication as a service for the business. However, at various stages of this journey, the team will encounter challenges that can potentially derail or disrupt plans. Turning around a communication team, especially in a global capability center means re-calibrating and course correcting, re-aligning capabilities, revisiting stakeholder management practices and re-drawing change management plans.
Here are some typical comments communication leaders hear when the function isn’t focused on driving the organization’s agenda. How many of these relate to your workplace?
· “Unsure what the team does”
· “They seem to be busy but don’t have time for the business”
· “There is no vision for the team”
· “They send e-mailers and create posters”
· “We need to know ‘how’ stuff can be done, not ‘why’ it can’t be done!”
Even though the function is expected to be strategic in outlook, blind spots can come in the way of how the team is perceived and – therefore engaged. Badly managed relationships, poorly constructed and incorrect timing of communication results in less than optimal outcomes. It isn’t that the team is unprepared or unclear about their ownership. It is possible that they don’t see the world from the viewpoint of stakeholders.