During my recent research project, which I continue to write up into a coherent report for the lovely people at the LEF, one of the conversations that appeared to happen again and again with my interviewees went along the lines of:

Me: “Would I be able to attribute this conversation to you?”

Them: “I’d love you to, but it means I’ll have to talk to our comms team and that will take ages, so I’d rather you didn’t.”

Me: “I’ll anonymize you, then…”

How have we got to a stage where the purpose of Communications teams in so many organizations appears to be to do the precise opposite – to stop communication from happening? It’s an approach that looks like a very small finger inserted into an increasingly big hole amongst many other holes in a gigantic dyke.

If organizations want to be able to change and adapt to the world around them, they need to interact with (rather than “embrace”) the ecosystems of people, organizations and technologies around them. Communication in that world is something that everyone does. Closed organisms could take the Hans Brinker approach to communications management. It’s questionable whether innovative ones can.

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