Changing The Terms

To reflect a renewed focus on business communication and, specifically, internal communication, and because I was able to get my hands on a great URL, I have created a new site and blogging platform called “Changing The Terms” which can be found at http://www.changingtheterms.com.

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About the Book: “Lincoln to LinkedIn: The 55 Minute Guide to Social Communication”

“From Lincoln to LinkedIn: The 55 Minute Guide to Social Communication” is a call to action , and in some respects, a call to arms.

Having worked in political campaigns before moving inside of large corporations, one thing I noticed was a dramatic shift in tone and approach – indeed a lack of respect for those people who were being asked to change, to innovate, to dig deeper and to represent their organisations with enthusiasm.

While the advent of social media has caused that condescension to reduce a bit, social evangelists also advocated replacing old-school, top-down, one-size-fits-all communication with the brainless anarchy of leaping headfirst into twitter and facebook without any thought about what lurks on the other side, or what lies beneath your own organisational surface.

Lincoln to LinkedIn offers an alternative.  It offers you an approach that is genuinely strategic, and one which encourages the intelligent use of new communication technologies without being a slave to them.  Indeed, one can run an effective social communication campaign with a phone, an email account and an excel spreadsheet.

In 108 pages, the book provides enough training and insights to allow you to do just that.

It also highlights concepts like social landscapes, tribal dynamics, and source credibility that rest at the core of effective, impactful communication, whether inside corporate walls, or inside broader – but still bounded – arenas of interest.

I invite you to order it, and above all, to let me know what you think.  I think you will agree that this approach could make a major difference, not only to you in achieving your objectives, but also in sharpening corporate communication while making it more respectful and impactful.

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To order from Amazon.com, follow this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Lincoln-LinkedIn-55-Minute-Social-Communication/dp/0956467229/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1302114959&sr=8-1

Those who wish to order from Amazon.co.uk can follow this link:

http://lnkd.in/37Uwv9

“It’s Not Just About Social Media”–An Introduction to Social Communication

“It’s Not Just About Social Media–An Introduction to Social Communication” is a new presentation that outlines the core of my approach to communication strategy–to focus on the informal social groups and networks (tribes) in organizations and communities, alongside a focus on traditional channels, hierarchies and organization charts.

While social media can make these informal networks and tribes more visible and easier to influence and harness, I see it as a mistake to collapse the underlying theory and mechanics of a social communication strategy with the arrival or use of technology which may or not be acceptable within a given organization.

Indeed, the only software required to run an effective social communication program is an Excel spreadsheet–to identify key members in the community and the formal and informal groups to which they belong.

The only hardware required is a telephone–to allow for ongoing and regular communication with the key informal leaders within your area of responsibility.

Social Communications is grounded in timeless practice: it has a lineage dating back at least to 1840, when Abraham Lincoln articulated his “Lincoln Rules” for running successful political campaigns.

Social Communication approaches work well in internal communication situations–and particularly well in change programs which involve smaller core groups along with an extended network into the organization.

They also can be easily applied in external communication situations where the community of interest is well defined, for instance in a niche market or around regulatory or legislative issues.

The presentation can be found here: http://slidesha.re/cmSQEn.  If you would like to discuss with me, please email me at mklein818@yahoo.com

Germany: A Look at an Emerging Internal Comms Powerhouse

Is Germany the world’s emerging internal communication powerhouse? For 11 days back in March, I travelled the length and breadth of the country and met with practitioners of all stripes–and found an industry on the verge of a breakthrough on several fronts.

While the day to day practice of IC is still rudimentary in places–stuff of the “newsletters and posters” variety, German practitioners are embracing social media and social communication with abandon.   Their national IC community is organized on the Xing network rather than in a dues-consuming association, and new ideas from outside are absorbed more through Twitter feeds than conferences or publications.

At the same time, new software applications are being adopted in major companies like Siemens and Deutsche Telekom that give sanction and voice to genuine bottom-up communication.

The piece can be found on Melcrum’s Internal Communication Hub at http://bit.ly/9tm2xE.

Free Associations: An Interactive Post on CommScrum

In this posting, the men and the woman of CommScrum discuss their short history, their commitment to free discussion, and the reactions they have received from unexpected places…in the script of an online SkypeChat.

The conversation, which covers such topics as the tensions between hierarchy and democracy in organizations,  the relevance of various associations and players in the business communications space, and the likely emergence of like-minded “tribes” as forces to be reckoned with in that space, can be found at:  http://commscrum.wordpress.com.

Is More “Top-Down Inspiration” Really the Answer for Organizational Recovery?

Challenging the conventional wisdom that the answer for reviving organizations is a more-of-the-same focus on “employee engagement” and “top-down inspirational leadership” is the purpose of this piece, written as a reply to industry association IABC’s recent introduction to its Communication World magazine.  The reply, which can be found on Communitelligence at http://bit.ly/bdsd2h , instead offers tangible approaches where strategic internal communication can make real differences without invoking the need for inspirational interventions.

Democracy’s Mirror Images

In my first piece for the leading European political journal “E!Sharp”, I take on an observation I’ve long noticed about European and American societies:  that the American political system and the European workplace are designed to encourage democratic behavior, while the American workplace and European political systems are much less keen on democratic participation.

With current trends around social media accelerating citizen activism on both continents, however, the possibility of convergence makes the issue something worth noting.

The piece can be found here: http://bit.ly/aFotMm

Towards a Social Communication Model

The idea of a communication model that unifies internal communication, external communication and knowledge management forms the premise of my new post on Communitelligence: “Towards A Social Communication Model”.

While the emergence of social media is important to this premise, the core of the model is that it recognizes the legitimacy and importance of peer opinion and influence as a driver of behavior and performance within organizations.

The article can be found at www.communitelligence.com.

Enterprise Re-Engagement: Will Corporates Get It?

My latest posting on Communitelligence and the Employee Engagement Network raises the issue of why corporations, while needing to engage their full range of social, political and environmental stakeholders, could be well served to place employees at the heart of their broader engagement strategies.

Such an approach is not without risks.  Expecting employees to fight corporate battles in the public and political sphere is seen by some as a breach of labor-management etiquette, and also will require a new framework of trust to be generated between employee and employer following the shocks of the last few years.

However, employees and employers may be faced with little choice.  Both are more vulnerable to market shocks and competitive pressures—leaving relationships and reputation as the thin shield that affords them any protection whatsoever.  Whether corporations can join together their collective thinking about stakeholder engagement—or whether the current thinking of employee engagement as a sort of free lunch for employers ends up prevailing—is likely to have a decisive impact in the next few years.

The full posting is available at Communitelligence at: http://bit.ly/c7j4rM

Will Social Media Drive Integrated Internal-External Comms?

In the first-ever “Thought Leaders” post on the site of CIPR Inside–the internal communications community within the UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations–I discuss some of the key attributes of social media likely to drive greater integration of internal and external communication in the coming year.

Key drivers I’ve identified include:

* timing–satisfying the desire for instant and efficient communications, and allowing key messages to be distributed with appropriate dispatch

* mapping–helping to identify meaningful internal communities and communities within the market, and within them, the people who influence others

* relevance–allowing employees greater flexibility in subscribing to communications that they wish to receive

* targeting–building on community mapping to provide alternative local sources of news and credibility to relieve pressure on line managers, who while a favored communication channel, are often overburdened and unreliable

The full post can be found at CIPR Inside: http://bit.ly/90Xv8u