I’ve long been interested in what makes a communicative organization (or an organization communicative, for that matter). Technology, people and processes play a large role to be sure. In looking back over my years as a corporate communicator, it dawned on me that I was unconsciously striving to reach an ideal where communications was not the responsibility of the department, but the responsibility of each employee and championed by senior leaders.
The term communicative organizations is not in wide use (yet) and it’s most heavily referenced in the work of the Global Alliance and was first defined in the Stockholm Accords that were the result of the 2010 World Public Relations Forum.
Here is the formal definition:
A communicative organization recognizes that even the most empowered public relations director cannot realistically hope to govern more than 10% of its communicative behaviours.
Therefore the communication leader of the organization plays two fundamentally strategic roles:
- an ‘ideological’ role by supporting and providing the organization’s leadership with the necessary, timely and relevant information which allows it to effectively govern the value networks as well as an intelligent, constant and conscious effort to understand the relevant dynamics of society at large:
- a ‘contextual’ role which implies the constant delivery of communicative skills, competencies and tools to the components of its value networks so that they improve their relationships amongst each other and with the other value networks.
My goal with future posts on this subject will not be to add more scholarly discourse, but to try and discover practical examples and approaches that communicators can use to build and support their own communicative organizations.