The Internal Comms Podcast – in this episode, Jenni talks to Katie Macaulay about the ideas and frameworks outlined in her new book, Influential Internal Communication. Katie and Jenni talk about chaos – what this looks like from a business perspective and what causes disorder – and how to use communication as a diagnostic tool to identify the root causes of business problems and, ultimately, fix them for the long term.
Other subjects include leaders’ often obsessive preoccupation with change, the levers we can pull inside our organisations to drive engagement, and how organisations can sometimes become conceptual entities standing between employees and the people they serve.
“The book is aimed both at communications teams and business leaders but it was really focusing on the non-communication people, that’s the big focus for me because I think if everybody just understood a little bit more about communication and the impacts it can have on the workplace, the workplace would be a very different place.”
“Employee voice is very important, the right kind of managers – very important, organisation integrity – very important but actually, trying to tackle all of those as an equal priority as an enabler is very challenging for anyone in an organisation so definitely focusing on that narrative and people understanding why they are doing what they’re doing would be much higher for me than the others.”
“When I talk about chaos, I’m talking about things that you might not consider chaos… Chaos isn’t running around full of panic, full of worry and everyone running around like headless chickens, it can be something that is created quite slowly, and it can be something that comes from leaving things quite unchecked. So when I’m talking about chaos I’m talking about things like, a high turnover of staff or a leadership team that might be focusing too much on financial reward for leaders and not fairness across the organisation. Things like that, that lead to it becoming toxic because of the impact that it has on people and there is a long list in the book where it says these are all the different kinds of chaos you can find.”
“Some things take time, there are always quick fixes in there that will be things that you can do really quickly to make a change but there are things that can take 6 months to a year, 18 months to do. The clients we’ve worked with, they’ve all implemented things and created change on the back of doing the model.”
“One message would be that you can fix anything inside your organisation with communication because you absolutely can.”