Maybe It Is About Bowling Scores and Babies | Gagen MacDonald

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Maybe It Is About Bowling Scores and Babies

Jan 23, 2015
When I first got into the business, internal communications was still earning its chops as a function. You didn’t see any of the fervor around employee engagement that you see today. It was widely seen as corporate overhead. Some of that perception was in part due to the fact that some practitioners had come up through an administrative track –taking on the task of writing personnel announcements or the local plant newsletter in addition to other responsibilities.As we worked our way up, building a case for the value of our work in leadership, strategy execution and corporate culture, we tended to get a bit officious. You’d often hear: “We’re not about newsletters. We’re not about bowling scores and babies. We’re about running the business!”Well, I’m starting to think: Maybe it is more about bowling scores and babies than we’ve cared to admit.I’m not suggesting that a corporate newsletter is the solution to every business challenge. It’s the sense of community that those newsletters fostered. In moving so ardently to “make it all about the business,” we at times lost sight of the very people who make up the corporation; and those people do not identify themselves with their job function or relationship to the company alone.That’s something the social media revolution has made abundantly clear—there’s a real desire for community. Carol Coletta and Meg Wheatley both speak to this point. People are yearning to be a part of each other’s lives. Not just their work lives, but connecting with each on a more fundamental, a more human level.The local story is as important as the global story. Like any great challenge, it represents an even greater opportunity. What if we reframe our role from “keepers of the story” to “community builders?” How would you show up differently as a leader?
/ Jan 23, 2015

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