Early signs that your communication is working

Step_FourZurich, 12 April 2016, Jill Allemang

Over the years, I’ve learned to read the the signs that people are genuinely involved in a strategy – often well before it proves itself with results. I listen for these clues:

  • People on the team say “ah yes, and then there’s this!” when pointing to connections from one aspect of the strategy to another
  • They start proactively defining unclear points and words in the strategy, eliciting more granular, commonly-held meaning from typical corporate phrases
  • You hear people describe the strategy with enthusiasm, using their own examples
  • Employees are so eager and committed that you sometimes feel a little “unnecessary” in meetings.
  • It spreads – the same two or three points are emphasized over and over
  • You see some very cool, innovative tactics developed by the extended and/or local teams and functions

Until I recognize some of these signs, I know we are still waiting for momentum. When it does catch-on, the steadily building excitement is great fun to experience. Only later comes the full reward:

  • You get the results OR when you’ve done the homework, if the strategy fails, you learn how to adjust because it was a strongly-communicated test
  • You have persisted through unexpected obstacles three – and more like five – years
  • You are seen as leaders, internally and externally. Other people copy and/or share your examples