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Staking your claim

Are internal communicators their own worst enemy? In the next in our series on the Five Step Value Framework (FSVF), Account Director Phil Parrish explores how its fourth step, Present the Value, explains why IC professionals shouldn’t be afraid to demonstrate the worth of what they do.

“Perception is real even when it is not reality,” argued creative guru Edward de Bono. The next step in our Five Step Value Framework is all about this question of perception, and how you can reverse any negative views of IC which may exist in your organisation.

By building on the work done in the previous three steps, Step 4 Present the Value gives you the tools and techniques to communicate why IC is such an invaluable operational function in a compelling way.

Communicate is the key word. It’s an irony of the IC profession that it arguably fails because its value isn’t presented as confidently and professionally as it should be.

All too often, IC professionals are unwilling to draw an explicit link between what they do and the overall performance of their organisation, mainly because the relationship seems too indirect or contingent to be credible.

The same might be said for something like facilities management though, which could be deemed ‘non-core’ because it doesn’t directly contribute to the bottom-line. Yet just like IC, wouldn’t its absence put the day-to-day operations of any organisation at risk?

Ready-made framework

Drawing on the three earlier phases in the FSVF, IC professionals can furnish themselves with the data, arguments and evidence to dispel any notions of IC being a non-essential activity.

The four quadrants of employee, leadership, operations and external supply a ready-made framework, on which you can stake your claim in a way that will grab the attention of senior leadership.

The framework’s balanced nature gives you a comprehensive structure that will lend power and persuasiveness to your report or presentation, plus the confidence to shout about your success. Moreover, you’ll be presenting your work from a variety of perspectives, each one resonating with different leaders in different ways.

Sustainable foundation

And that’s where your natural skill of the communicator comes in. Think creatively, visually and laterally to present your arguments in the most original way, using graphics, stories, imagery, numbers, pithy insights and snappy conclusions.

Don’t forget frequency either. Presenting IC value must be a regular and standard procedure, ideally quarterly and at both Board and management level.

However you choose to present the value, its success will ultimately depend on how well you can link your arguments to specific actions and measurable outcomes. It’s then a case of tracking them methodically and consistently. By doing so, you’ll be building a sustainable foundation that will advance not just your organisation’s cause, but that of the whole IC discipline.

Read the Five Step Value Framework here for more about communicating the value of the IC work you do.

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