SOUTH WEST LONDON — Well?
Someone has to ask.
It wasn’t that long ago I was explaining to clients where “internal communications” came from. It was a “discipline”, it came from the business realisation that people were a key part of their asset portfolio… and now that we had driven down supply costs, making people more efficient had to do with Internal Communications.
But it’s been at least five years since we first started moving away from the term “internal communications”. Two years ago we abandoned it altogether.
Because it is explicitly incorrect.
Internal communications is seen (and too often performed) as a task akin to managing the plumbing or electricity. You stand at the top and turn on the tap and/or flip the switch. On and off. Off and on. The information flows down. If it doesn’t make it to every corner of the building you go and investigate.
And that is how many executives understand it. Certainly that is how many Internal Communications roles are staffed.
Social media is just one example of how this isn’t working, but there are others. Recent safety issues are a better example: you don’t get safety by decree. Engagement presents more problems.
However the fundamental issue is this: Internal Communications as generally practiced cannot and does not help the business to succeed. In fact, it may be doing the opposite.
It’s 7:35, 06 October 2010. Internal Communications is dead.