I’ve met everyone in my new office and already forgotten most of their names. I’ve been shown the kitchen and bathroom, the photocopier, and even where the fire escapes are. Now I’m sitting at my new desk, looking at a big blue ring-binder folder with a Brother P-Touch label on it that says INDUCTION.
Inside are 70-odd pages of photocopied policies on things like bullying in the workplace (don’t do it), interstate travel guidelines (cost code 1-803-7229) and a brochure from an external HR company offering assistance in the event I’m concerned about my mental health. I learn that the organisation’s values are honesty, trust, innovation, and resilience, which surely sets them apart from all those other organisations who don’t care if you’re a vulnerable, uninspiring, treacherous liar.
When built properly, an integrated communication system can dramatically improve the way you do business.
Step 1 – Build a communications framework
If you're familiar with the concept of the 'elevator pitch' you'll understand the value in being able to describe a big idea in simple terms.
A good comms framework is your business in a nutshell. It sits comfortably as a layer on top of your organisational workflow and describes all the things that have to happen, in what order and when, and lists the various resources, tools and templates available to help along the way. It need not be complicated or overly detailed but it must be accurate and up to date. Your framework serves to keep everyone within the organisation on the same page (quite literally, a lot of the time).
Why is a kingfisher like a bullet train? Well, it’s not. Not in the slightest. Mind you, there is a bit of an overlap in the kingfisher-bullet train Venn diagram, one that perhaps wouldn’t immediately spring to mind.
You see, because of their immense speed early bullet trains caused a bit of kerfuffle. When they entered a tunnel they caused a massive air pressure buildup that manifested itself in a sonic boom at the far end. The neighbours were most unhappy, and in some cases hearing impaired.
Applying for a Visa for China had me a little clenched up recently. Not because of any concern that my application would be knocked back (I’m sure they’re gonna love me over there) but because the online application process is really unclear. It just meant that throughout the ordeal I wasn’t sure whether or not I was doing the right thing, and I couldn’t for the life of me switch off some worrying visions of my being marched into a dark room out the back of Chengdu Airport.
Serious stories about communication
told in a silly voice.
I dig a little deeper than most comms folk. From science at university, to a cold-and-wet career as a commercial diver, to working underground, and for the past 17 years as a communicator-at-large, I've had my fair share of weird experiences in all sorts of situations. It's given me a fair-to-middling grounding in all things explanatory.