Earlier this year I was working with a Head of Communications in a government agency that has undergone significant structural transformation and operational change over the past two years.
She was working on deepening the engagement between leaders and employees in different areas and had asked for some advice on how to ensure communication was flowing two ways. I asked, “What business as usual channels do you rely on today?”
“We don’t use the term BAU any longer. Transformation is going to continue. Change is business as usual and we now adopt a continuous improvement approach” she said.
It was a moment of absolute clarity for me. How many of us think of ‘BAU’ communication as distinct from the projects and initiatives that come through the door, or into the inbox.
BAU is dead. What now?
As part of the IC Kollectif IC In 2017 Project, I had some thoughts at the start of the year about how communicators can work with other areas to learn, innovate and adapt. But this realisation, half way through the year, made me consider what communicators can do in times of perpetual change, not just to service their organisations, but to ready themselves for ‘no more BAU’.
Read my full response on the IC Kollectif IC In 2017 Project.
- Strength in shared practices. Continue to talk about what works, not just with other communicators, but across disciplines. Ask the questions like “why did this work in this environment?” But don’t just ask communicators. Ask marketers, change managers, leaders and innovators.
- Invest in development. Don’t wait for your company to value you. Skill up, both communication skills and non-traditional skills: design thinking, user experience and business acumen.
- Change what you can. Look for the opportunities to add the value that our profession can deliver. Be brave.
- “It’s not me, it’s you.” Know when to stop pushing the rock uphill. There are amazing organisations that foster and grow innovation. If yours is not one of them, find one that is.
- Keep the faith. As a communicator, a great day at the office or in the field is a humbling thing. Bank those experiences as a reminder of why great internal communication matters.
What does a great day in the office or the field look like?
When did your communication activity lead to an outcome that furthered the organisation, the employees and the leaders? Creating connection, improving performance, perhaps just a moment of insight quoted back to you. Share what your ‘great day in the office’ looks like below.