How processes communicate; sleeveface and political correctness

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FULHAM ROAD — I am the unfortunate victim of some stupid processes gone wrong. Like most people.

1. The City of Westminster is trying to charge me for a parking violation they agree is wrong. The “voice recognition system” inverted a T and B on my car registration (licence plate). So now they want £80.

2. An estate agent in my neighbourhood started paying me rent on a flat I sold 16 months ago. Sending me contracts and correspondence from the tenant. Now they are acting like I have done something wrong.

There is no question in my mind but that people in both places think they are doing nothing wrong. We’re just following the system. Or Those are the rules are the kind of responses that you might expect.

But more and more that is unacceptable. And increasingly it is your job to fix it.

You know that processes tell people a lot about what is important in your organisation. They tell people about three times as much as all the media you do, research says.

So what are the systems and processes that you communicate with? What are the points of contact that your public have with you?

There are many ways you could go about assessing this. And we’d obviously be happy to talk about any of them.

But there are two things that have caught my imagination this week.

–» How politically correct are you?
I am sure you have a view on this. Most of us do. So I admire the courage of a reporter called Edward Stourton who has written a book on the topic and was in all the weekend papers. He seems even surprised to find that he thinks political correctness is important.

– What do you say about/ do for women who are/ might be having children in your organisation?
– How do you adapt to clients/ colleagues from different cultures/ who speak different languages?

Do you think that’s not important? Think again.

–» Sleeveface: do you know how to laugh?
“We don’t do funny here.” Business tries to stay away from being fun. But how much can you tell about a working environment by the expression on the faces of people in the company lift? A lot.

I am very taken by the new phenomena called sleeveface. I am sure we can work it into some kind of organisational communications programme.

Surely there is no rule that says people cannot have fun!

Your systems and processes say a lot about you. Who are you?


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