Become a Strategic Communicator
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Become a Strategic Communicator
Become a Strategic CommunicatorDavid L. Caruso, MAPW
Intro and overviewWhy are we here?Strategic thinking what is it and why should you care.Hoothoot
Im building a 20th century career in the 21st century
Ive always been fascinated by those who are seemingly in the right place at the right time and what the story is behind those moments2
Can you see the big picture?leaders
When people hear strategy and strategic thinking/planning there is a certain amount of fear/misunderstandingSome people say they just dont have time or interest in strategy and so I ask a simple question can you see the big picture? If so what do you see?Depending on the structure of your organization, some leaders cant escape what Steven Covey calls the whirlwind of seemingly urgent things which may or not be important they are consumed by email and meetings so their ability to do important things which are not urgent is vastly diminished
If your organization depends on engineers, they will tell you that strategy is not in their DNA they are minutia focused with purpose the details, the problem solving is what you want them doing but the degree to which they contribute to the organizations outputs mean that they need to be involved in the process. You work with them, you know them so you can relate.3
Your storyHow did you answer 1 & 2 on your handout?I feel underappreciated.If I could only find a project where I could shine#spectrum16@DCCD
And now for the Audience Participation portion of the show
What is your story and where do you tell it? Do people understand what you do? Do you take every opportunity to practice what you preach Controlled vocabulary, clear message, repetition, SEO findability. Example LinkedIn Headline4
Your goal internal monologue should beI solve problemsI add valueI improve qualityI make my role critical#spectrum16@DCCD
What you say matters if you want to retain your position and eventually advance
VPNValueWorth, useful, helpful, advantagePriorityPrimary, most important (may not be most urgent)NexusConnection, convergence
Put yourself in the right place at the right time.
Align your strengths with the needs of your organization
The Role of Strategic Thinking in Business Planninghttps://bia.ca/the-role-of-strategic-thinking-in-business-planning/
I have spoken previously about the spark that ignites an idea which eventually turns into a concept presentation
This is the article and reference that started me thinking about the ideas covered in this talk, I really liked the model they presented because it looked at more than just the planning and talked about the thinking process. Another good one is Design Thinking but we will save that for a future conference presentation.8
This is the model presented in the article and Horray! Theres a visual.
Research first you must do your homework. Good news, you are (or should be) doing this9
What is Strategic Thinking?Strategic Thinking is a planning process that applies innovation, strategic planning and operational planning to develop business strategies that have a greater chance for success.#spectrum16@DCCD
What is Strategic Thinking?a process innovation, strategic planning and operational planning success.#spectrum16@DCCD
If we distill that statement we get this which of course I would like to visualize it (and also make it understandable for engineers) so you get this:11
This simplification also shows you that this investment of work will result in a WIN! There has to be some cake (reward) at the end12
Why is Strategic Thinking Important?Organizational need Location, location, locationIt fits squarely within the communicators zone
Can you go back and forth between your left and right brain?
Where do you sit in your org structure? Are the silos still there? Are there still permissions required to share/play outside your organizational box think sandbox and sharing from kindergarden
First stepResearchWho/what are your current research inputs?Internal = employeesExternal = customers and the competitionHow do you get the information you need?
So like I said, theres homework. You arent going to do this tomorrow unless you are checking off some serious boxes as we move thru this material.
So if you are in professional communication or documentation or content strategy, you are inside of the organization and possibly further within a group/team and that organization doesnt exist in a vacuum so lets look at it like this14
I see myself (and possibly you) at the center of the inner circle that represents you within your team/unit structure within the company/organization thats the triangle.
C B inputs how do your customers tell you what they need?B C outputs how do you tell your customers what you are offering them?C C ? You do know your customers could be talking to each other about you, right?
E B inputs how do your employees tell you what they need?B E outputs how does your org tell their employees what they need to know?E E ? You do know employees gossip about the company, right?
Who are the market leaders in your sector?What is your source for industry best practices?Who do you compare your outputs to/with?
Now that youve done your homework, you can make that change innovate
Our office needed to update our website front and back end. This represented a serious investment of time, money effort. Planning to do this moved the content authoring from a programmer/coder to the SME using our faux CMS. That was going to involve some serious changes to the SMEs responsibilities. This content would require review and oversight along with some structure. We approached it advocating for the user/reader/customer what do they need and how can we best deliver it?19
Change happensHandout question 3What is the change management plan?What will the new normal look like?How can you help?
So for the purpose of this presentation I am equating innovation with change this is deliberate because you most likely are not engineering the innovation, you are going to have to deal with the change that the innovation will bring to your company. Without thinking about the change and its effect on the company, there will be trouble. Dont have a change management plan, this seems like a good place to start in growing your ability to think strategically and add value to your organization.20
Every organization/team/unit needs to plan. These five are what I consider the bare-bones, least you can do to get the benefits strategic planning21
MissionMission Statement highest level of this process, should happen for organization and for mission critical sub-units (branches, teams, centers etc.)May be a good first step but revisit at the end to make sure it is still relevant#spectrum16@DCCD
Vision = We believe
A vision statement should answer the question
What do we believe?
Vision Statement Example - Apple
Apples current (2015) vision statement was introduced by CEO Tim Cook, who stated: We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and thats not changingWe believe in the simple not the complex. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to ushttp://panmore.com/apple-mission-statement-vision-statement
Wait, what did he say?= VPNWe believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us
GoalsSMART in constructionShould fit within the context of higher levels and written in the same style(mission and vision)
Funding and Staffing are the usual suspectsTry to dig deeperwhat is in the way of making the goals happen?Are there admin or engineering approaches to closing these gaps?NOT THIS
Action plans how are you going to do the things you said you wanted to do in your goals?Measure/EvaluateHow will you know when youve achieved your goals? If so[what]? If not[what]?Operationalization*#spectrum16@DCCD*This may top my list for most hated business jargon!
Is this role right for you?Investment Handout question 4Deep CommitmentInstitutional KnowledgeSupportSupervisoryMentor
PathwaysOn the job trainingMentor/MenteeBack to schoolNetwork#spectrum16@DCCD
ResourcesInitial spark articleCoveys Time Management Quadrants Randy Pauschs Time Management Lecture to UVALinchpin: Are You Indispensable? By Seth GodinDeveloping Your Organizational Power and Influence Andrea Ames LavaCon Keynote 2015