Any savvy marketing and communications professional knows that before you can positively impact (P.I.) your new team, you have to gain a solid understanding of the existing culture, goals, recent successes and failures, as well as the strength and weaknesses of the team, among many other things. Knowing the recent past, what the organization is good at, where it is positioned competitively, and what the team and corporate identity is (and/or wants to be) is key to the positive impact (P.I.) factor you can generate.
Once you get the ‘lay of the land’, through the use of a structured process I like to call ‘corporate self reflection’, you can begin to map out a 30-day plan of action that will begin to transform the organization. As this plan is rolled out, it has defined, measurable objectives for each individual on the Communications Team, including the manager. This allows the executive team to have early stage input into how the new manager plans to effect positive change and create the momentum needed to have success in future stages. This consensus in the very early stages enables the new manager to set out on a path everyone has bought into, so that abrupt and disruptive deviations can be avoided.
“Without this crucial base of knowledge one could do more damage than good.”
Knowing your impact on an organization is an important part of this transformation. While change can affect people in different ways, it’s essential to remain aware of the impact you’re having not only on your immediate team, but of their peers and the overall organization. The goal of any new Communications management professional is to positively impact the organization with minimal disruptive impact to the existing infrastructure, landscape, culture, etc… Unless, of course, you’re brought in to do just that… shake things up for the better. If that’s the case, then be sure to get that permission and support from the executive team and get them involved in the plan, as appropriate. Again, ensuring that management is on board will pave a smoother path during this challenging transition period.
Now that you’ve got buy in on all levels, you can implement your 30-day and 180-day plans, as well as build out your 1-year+++ strategic goal, initiatives and activities. These require significant input and research to determine your goals and activities are completely in line with those of the corporation. Again, setting out ambitious plans, investing capital and human resources in a program requires complete buy in across the board. And remember, market factors change, competitive forces evolve, new opportunities arise and a whole slew of unpredictable variables means you have to remain flexible to change.
“Setting plans in stone only creates a Titanic that, while sophisticated and elegant to look at, lacks the manoeuvrability necessary to remain a force in the marketplace.”
Without theability to tack, zag and change direction, the ship and/or the company, may not avoid dangerous obstacles on the horizon.
Understanding one’s ability and the impact it can have on an organization is both art and science. You may be able to quantify it, but without the ability to remain actively aware by monitoring and measuring actions and reactions, we are destined to repeat mistakes that could reduce one’s overall positive impact, or worse, cause financial distress on the company. Marketing professionals must always balance the science with the art in order to be successful as individuals, while also positively impacting the company they represent.
The bottom line is… the success of a marketing communications professional is measured tangibly (increasing the quality and quantity of leads, driving corporate revenues, effective stakeholder engagement, etc…) and intangibly (improving corporate culture, inspiring others, etc…). If there’s one thing I’ve proven over the past 20 years, I consistently do both, equally well. And I’d love to show the good folks at Nav Canada exactly what I can do. Contact me today!