AB Thinks  →  8th February 2023

Five ways to shake up internal comms in 2023

Every profession needs standards and commonly accepted ways of doing things. But we also know history’s greatest thinkers, innovators and creators don’t play by the rules. Is 2023 the year rip up the rulebook?

AB’s Managing Director Katie Macaulay shares five ways to look at internal comms – and success – in a new light.

Stop measuring engagement
Our preoccupation with measuring engagement might be a fool’s errand. Professor William Kahn (who coined the term ‘personal engagement at work’) thinks measuring engagement, ironically, has become something of a disengaging exercise. We would do better to spend our time and money creating the conditions for personal engagement. We shouldn’t be counting employees’ opinions, but making employees’ opinions count.

Focus only on your audience
When it comes to content, we’re fighting the wrong battles. We’re all trying to hit a deadline or to get something approved. But the only battle that matters is grabbing your audience’s attention. Steve Crescenzo says we’ve all got to learn how to ‘make the important interesting’. Of course, you’ve got to be wary of the four Ps (programmes, products, policies and procedures) but really the focus should be on a fifth: people.

Rethink productivity
Productivity isn’t about doing everything at once, it’s about working on the right stuff. Rarely do we put a deadline on the most valuable tasks: improving relationships with colleagues, improving a team’s underlying processes and systems for personal development. Deliberately schedule these in, set yourself a deadline, and finally address these most important issues.

Ditch the disingenuous EVP
Human-centric businesses don’t want their employees wandering around trying to behave themselves. So says Victoria Zhu – and she’s got a point. Human-centric businesses perform better, so should we stop trying to impose a set of values on colleagues, or rather listen to the values in the room and build an EVP on the principles and values the workforce already holds dear?

Show up to succeed
Success comes from being ruthlessly consistent. Show up every time, on time, and do your best. Whether it’s team success, personal success, campaign success, channel success, it all comes down to quality applied consistently over time.

Katie was speaking at AB Thinks Live, 2022