Serving up the Corporate Communication

dinner

 

Have you ever considered the humble beef steak and the many variations in which it can be prepared and served to meet the varying eating requirements of diners?

Some people like their steak raw, others partially cooked, others with a more highly tuned animalistic appreciation, savor it burnt with a delicate charcoal after taste that lingers just that little longer on the palate.

Others like their steak transformed into another eating format such as mince, a sausage, hamburger or even placed on a metal skewer garnished with an array of coloured complimentary ornamental vegetables to add that certain nutritional balance to the eating diet.

The overall result is that many people will happily eat steak owing to the customized presentation and delivery format that meets the endless variety of fickle needs of the consumer.

Let’s explore this thought with respect to corporate communications. Rather than having one single communiqué to the broader organization, a tailored message for each user group is required (you just can’t serve raw steak to everyone!). The message needs to be crafted to meet the consuming needs of each work group. Some groups will like to hear the message straight (don’t cut the fat off their meat), others will need it to be refined (cut into smaller more palatable pieces), some will need it simplified and reduced (via the use of a food processor), others may want some condiments to compliment the taste of the message.

In all the above message scenarios the origin of the communication is the same (just like the original cut of the steak) the skill is in how the Corporate Communication Director (or should I say chef) dishes up the “meat” to ensure that each employee (diner) eagerly greets the communication and is ready to eat it all up and is fully satisfied without the need for seconds, or a dessert!

So in summary, corporate communication is really just food for thought…..isn’t it?

 

Too Many Cooks do NOT Spoil the Broth

Too Many Chefs

There are many key factors required to achieve a magnificent slow cooked gourmet soup.

First, there is the Chef that coordinates the whole cooking process utilising their wealth of experience based on a proven and never ending method of trial and error leading to the desired soup result. Next are the ingredients that when merged together in the right proportions yield that optimum flavour and texture. Let us also not forget the liquid within which all the ingredients can be distilled, can freely permeate, and then combine to form the necessary soup consistency. Other important requirements are heat, time and a suitable cooking pot to allow the progression of the ultimate soup masterpiece.

A successful Chef will also welcome feedback from their peers and will happily consider their suggestions on other exotic ingredients that may compliment and improve their recipe. Some of these ingredients may provide an immediate taste impact, others may take time to infuse and then add a more complex and subtle addition.

The combined result of all of the above is the achievement of gourmet soup perfection!

However, this soup methodology can also be applied to the process of innovation in the corporate office.

The Chef
There needs to be an owner of the innovation process that coordinates all the idea inputs and directs the progression towards the required end result. The key is to have one Master Chef, but also numerous Apprentice Chefs that can assist and take-over when required so the innovation process doesn’t lose momentum and focus (after-all, without the proper attention from the chef(s), the soup may boil over and be ruined!)

The Pot
Ideas need a receptacle for their collection and development. Suggestions for this could be a corporate internal communication forum where thoughts are shared and discussed in an open environment, a brainstorming session, or other creative methods that meet the cultural needs of the organisation. The pot needs to be of the right size to accommodate all the ideas that might be generated throughout the process. Too small a pot may lead to participant frustration; too large a pot may lead to ideas being lost?

The Ingredients
Ideas need to come from many sources within the corporate organisation. All employees should be invited to participate to allow for greater diversity of thought and enhanced potential creativity. These ideas can then be further refined and combined by the skill of the Chef’s team as appropriate.

The Soup
The business needs to have an overall objective for the output generated from the innovation process. For instance, a Chef will know whether they are planning to make a soup and not a cake! If the objective were deemed to be a cake, then a completely different methodology would be required.

Time, Heat
Ideas need time to develop and mix with others that are placed into the cooking pot. Some ideas need to be broken down further via additional analysis (or heat) following which a new array of exciting and complex ideas may become evident.

You may recall that old saying “Too many cooks will spoil the broth”. Well, in this instance, you need many, many cooks as each cook (or fellow employee) brings with them a wealth of different ideas all based on their own insights and experiences. It is the collection of these ideas that leads to an endless array of innovation and creativity. The secret to innovative success is how these multitudes of ideas are mixed and brought together in a format that reinforces innovation. This is where the role of the Master Chef is so important in blending all these ideas into a soup that meets the requirements and tastes of the organisation.

To conclude, may these ideas help you develop a brilliant soup based on that distinctive taste of your own corporate innovation! Bon appetite!