Welcome to the 10th edition of Intraskope’s Spotlight Series featuring Erik S. Meyers, a communications leader, entrepreneur and author who currently lives and works in Germany, although is originally from the United States.
Business Acumen is often considered a given in any role. Or it is? Why does it matter? How can you gain business smarts? Why is it so important for internal communicators? Learn all this and more in this engaging conversation with Erik Myers, a communications & digital entrepreneur, mentor and author based in Germany, although he is American. He shares how to stay connected to the business, appreciate how things work and therefore contribute even more through communications. Erik is the author of The Accidental Change Agent.
About Intraskope’s Spotlight Series
In this series I interview key thought leaders on topics interrelated with internal communications such as culture, crisis, change, executive presence and leadership. The goal is to help unravel why they matter, what can leaders and communicators learn from experts and how we can put insights to practice. Watch these short interviews and get better at understanding these key topics and how you engage with internal communications.
In this interview Erik outlines the value of gaining strong business understanding to be able to contribute even more to the success of the organization you work for. Listening, asking questions and staying curious can help you get smarter and better with communication the organization’s needs.
“Meet and talk to as many people as you can from areas across the company: regions, business units, production, sales, etc. You will quickly build a large network you can tap into when needed. You will also show the people that you really care about what they do. Everyone contributes to business success, not just executives”, says Erik.
1. How do you define or understand business acumen?
According to me, it is aboutunderstanding the business you work for: strategy, products & solutions, values, mission. Know that each company is different. You have your communications toolbox and expertise, but communication in different companies needs to be tuned to that company’s needs.
2. Is it a skill or an ability?
It’s a skill you can and must learn and improve with every role and every company. Any one can learn the skill, but they must take time to do so.
3. Why is it important for internal communicators?
For any communicator, you need to understand the business and the context you are working in. Your job is not to hobnob with the company executives. If you can’t get down to the nitty-gritty of the business, you can’t do your job effectively.
4. What must internal communicators do to gain business smarts or an edge at work?
Meet and talk to as many people as you can from areas across the company: regions, business units, production, sales, etc. You will quickly build a large network you can tap into when needed. You will also show the people that you really care about what they do. Everyone contributes to business success, not just executives.
5. What are the downsides and upsides of gaining or ignoring business sense?
If you just stay at the “leveraging synergies” 30,000-foot view type of language and content, you aren’t doing your job. By understanding the business in detail, you can show genuine interest in people from across the company and really connect with them. This will help you real context to the stories you are writing and the events you are moderating.
6. What advice do you have for internal communicators to get a better grip of business?
Ask questions. This will help you hone what you know about the business and learn more. It will show your real interest in people.
Watch the complete video interview on YouTube .
Missed the earlier episodes? Watch them here: D. Mark Schumann (Culture), Peter Yorke (Executive Presence), Sia Papageorgiou (Leadership Communications), Dianne Chase (Strategic Storytelling), Gloria Walker (Communication Planning), Rebecca Sangster-Kelly (Stakeholder Management), Ray Walsh (Localizing Employee Communications), Prof. Matt Tidwell (Reputation) and Geri Rhoades (Manager Communications).
You can also look up the ongoing Intraskope’s Spotlight on Internal Communication Series featuring practitioners from around the globe sharing best practices and perspectives.
Liked the interview? Post your comments and share it with your network.
Keen to participate in the ongoing series on Personal Branding, Internal Communications or CSR Communications? Drop me a note at [email protected]
Here are Internal Communications resources you can use:
- Learn: Internal Communications Fundamentals Course on Thinkific or Udemy
- Internal Communications Series: https://forms.gle/KcqmPzLwq7NQi5Km6
- Chat with Aniisu – Internal Communications: https://www.instamojo.com/intraskope/connect-with-aniisu-60-minute-personalized-d/?ref=store
- Internal Communications workshops: https://bit.ly/2zdBRl1
You can also visit my website www.intraskope.com and You Tube channel to know more about my work.
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