I had a conversation with a very frustrated client last week. He’s a senior guy, in charge of a major business unit in a global organisation, and he has a burning business issue that needs focused communications input. He asked for support from his communications ‘business partner’ and was told “I can do a meeting in the 2nd week of March”.
Umm – that’s four weeks away! Unsurprisingly he picked up the phone to us for external support.
As he vented his frustrations, I started to wonder why the comms colleague left their internal customer feeling this way. Was it a resource issue or was it actually a capability issue? Was it that this organisation needs comms people who respond more like consultants than service providers?
What is your challenge? What are the business implications? What are the timing issues? What is achieveable? How can comms add most value? What is my immediate advice?
These are the questions that should be knee jerk for any communications professional working at business partner level. Often they aren’t. But why?
Go to any large corporate and the HR, finance and procurement functions have well defined competencies supported by professional development programmes. Internal communications may have a strong competency framework. but, if they have a development programme, it’s often patchy – made up of external, generic, (expensive), courses.