Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Communicating with country offices

In today’s Financial Times, (a subscription is required to view the entire article), Stefan Stern argues that in-country managers are key to the successful execution of corporate strategy.

Business leaders pull levers, issue uplifting statements, announce
eye-catching initiatives... and then what? Not even the most hyperactive
executive team can be everywhere at all times to monitor what is going on in the
furthest reaches of the organisation. The actions of managers and staff on the
ground will determine whether quarterly targets are hit and whether grand
strategies are realised.

The same is true for communication efforts. Organizations that operate worldwide need to ensure that communication efforts are properly executed to help build the brand and maintain consistent messaging. The managers play a critical role.

To improve the communication efforts of country offices
  • improve communication with country offices
  • be culturally sensitive
  • provide them with the tools they need.

Dicta from HQ may be met with resistance and confusion. Maintaining good communication with managers is essential to a robust communication effort. One way to start is by incorporating a communication component into training for managers. Organizations that fail to do so are cheating the brand.