Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Thursday, 12 May 2011

Leadership equals transparent communication

Trust is essential in effective leadership. That is exactly what is missing, I notice in my interviews to advice on strengthening capacities of climate risk management. Respondents in and outside government have no trust in their leaders and CEOs. No wonder I pick up signals of lack of motivation, low productivity, absenteism, poor cooperation, increased staff turn over and talent loss.

Trust is essential in getting things done, but even more essential to prepare for climate risks. So how can a government reverse a lack of trust in senior management and the performance fallout that follows, especially when that lack of trust is complicated with the uncertainties brought about by climate change? The answers for me is in increased transparent internal and external communication.

Credibility is crucial for establishing trust. Leaders must demonstrate competence enabling staff to trust that they have sufficient skills to make sound and firm decisions. Credibility also requires consistency. People do not trust leaders who change their mind too often. With regard to my task a successful leader will have to establish a strategic risk management plan and then implement it consistently with only minor modifications.

To earn trust leaders must at the same time show they care for their people and treat them as their human capital. An open door policy helps. Actively listening and proactively responding to the needs and problems of their workforce does wonders. It also implies that leaders must trust their staff and understand everyone has a different learning style and curve and that no one is better than another. By demonstrating these qualities, leaders can inspire others. Strengthening capacities for climate risk management implies also investing leadership styles.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Branding is engaging

You hate Barcelona, you love the team, you are indifferent to football, you don’t care who wins as long as it is a good game. People look at the same person, product, organization or football team, but they do not see the same thing. Everyone views things from his or her own perspective. And there are a myriad of viewpoints and perceptions. Moreover the emotions things trigger in us, also change from person to person. They vary from attraction to disgust, from love to hate, from ignorance to apathy. To get your message across and brand your team or organization, you have to tap into these emotions in a way that audiences become engaged in a meaningful way. Communicators have to get closer to the audiences, listen and take in what they say and feel. Starting these conversations and being serious about it, is the way to spread the word about your brand.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Pew: Million-Dollar Reef Sharks

A shark has more value on the reef than in a soup. That is the message of the findings of an Australian research project. The implicit component of this message to governments and private sector is: it pays off to take measures to protect certain animals that are vital for an ecosystem. Protected areas is one of the measures one could take: indeed what would Serengetti be without the lions or Yellowstone without the bears"? The message is strong. However the video could have been more effective when tailored to a specific audience and adding a more specific action component: The why bother might be clear, but not what to do about it. And when addressing the general public - I found it on Youtube - it should have focussed more on the awe for this creature in his environment.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Power of Words

"It is a beautiful day, but I can't see it." A better message than: "I am blind, please help". A nice show of the advertizing skills and services of a British marketing agency.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Drapchi - The preview

A trailer is part of a branding strategy for a movie. It plays into the senses more than it provides information. Images and music generate associations that reinforce our beliefs, attitudes and values. As this is a new brand it's USP focuses on making a dream come true notwithstandig the utmost adverse circumstances. The inherent pay off of all trailers is: make sure you are the first to see this movie or in this case see for yourself how she managed to succeed.