In the morning here in DC, but in the afternoon in Sydney, I’m going to be chatting with some executives about strategy and managing communications with their stakeholders.
Because we are in the midst of a pandemic where leadership and clear communication has been at a bit of a premium, I wanted to share the notes I made for the talk with everyone here with a little bit of discussion about why each of these ideas matters, today especially.
Strategy is about value:
The foundation of any strategy is the value you want to create from your project, idea, business, or campaign.
If you don’t know why or what is going to be achieved by the project, you project is likely starting out on the wrong foot.
So the first step in any successful strategy is understanding the value to be created and what is in it for folks that are going to be impacted by the value created.
Stakeholder communication is about empathy. It is really a marketing job:
In selling your ideas to your stakeholders, think of it like a marketing or sales job.
Your job is to show them how their lives will be improved by the value you create.
All folks, ultimately, are in sales.
Focus on what folks need to know, not everything you know:
There are always going to be people that want to know all the ins and outs of any subject.
Where communication gets bogged down is because too many folks spend far too much time trying to tell everything they know. This can be confusing.
The better approach is to tell the person what they need to know to make a decision, feel comfortable, or ask for more information.
You don’t have to tell everything you know every time you share.
Always communicate in a way that the folks you are trying to reach are willing and able to receive this information:
Some folks read, some folks watch video, some listen to audio.
You need to make sure your communication is able to hit folks in the manner that they are willing to listen to your information.
It is simple, but we are all guilty of sometimes forgetting the lesson that we are all different in how we digest information or we think that something that is clear to us is clear to the rest of the world.
I’ve got a few more notes, but this is the gist of my talk with folks in Sydney. In the pandemic, I’ve found that simplifying concepts and propping up the basics has been increasingly valuable.
As the world has become more uncertain, it has become easy for folks to ruminate and get caught up in so many complex variations of ideas and thoughts that they can’t always see a way forward.
So as you go forward, focus on the root. And, go from there.