Many communication functions are cost centers focused on activities that have little to do with driving business results or measurable value. Building competencies in four critical areas could make that dilemma go away.
Here’s how to do it.
Business and financial acumen
If you want to build trust and take performance to new heights, organizations need to open the books. Share information that matters to improving operating and financial results. Then celebrate people when they score big successes.
Open book management is the purest communication philosophy I’ve worked with. It’s grounded in the notion of creating businesses of people who think and act like business owners. People in open book companies are steeped in business literacy, work daily to improve the financials and have huge amounts of financial information available to them.
Yet many communication practitioners I talk to have never heard of it.
I taught a young communication professional about open book management a few years ago. She and I built a new communication system in an important piece of her company. We taught employees open book concepts.
In only five months, the people had taken performance to heights that surprised even them.
- On-time delivery went from 67 percent to 92 percent.
- Productivity went up 7 percent.
- Annual savings was US$94,000.
- Our return on our investment was 1,148 percent.
How business and financial acumen helps communication professionals
- It enables them to think and act in ways that improve business results.
- They gain skills and knowledge so they can teach others in the organization about the financial and operational aspects of the business.
- They can more easily translate external and internal factors and their impact on the business strategy.
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