Published on March 4, 2014
Inspire #05 The official magazine of Ketchum Pleon | english version | January 2014 Love it, change it, leave it Change Communications
2 // FOCUSSING ON CHANGE Dear readers, Can you recall the mega deals that took place in the 1990s? For example, ThyssenKrupp, Vodafone/Mannesmann or ExxonMobil, which turned whole industries upside down? For many years, mergers, acquisitions and production transfers of this type were traditionally the launchpads of change communications projects. Over the past few years, new areas of change communications have come to the fore, since many corporate structures and cultures have been stretched to their limits as a result of digital change and are now in urgent need of a self-imposed program of rejuvenation. Change communications has always been the domain of communicators with a great deal of sensitivity – and with vision. As the title of this magazine suggests – ”Love it, change it, leave it“ – the initial challenge is to recognize the necessity of change and to break free from the passive mindset which prevails in so many companies. In the second stage, not only must an ambitious, committed team be put together, but also large numbers of employees must be accompanied on a lengthy – and not always agreeable – path of change. These are exciting challenges, especially if one has to deal with teams of long-serving employees. It is more important than ever not only to plan processes and information ”cascades“, but also to adopt a new entrepreneurial mindset and to create a vision of the change. The possible methods of achieving this are described by our authors in this fifth issue of our Inspire magazine. Following an overview of traditional approaches to change communications and the challenges involved, we focus on individual aspects, such as storytelling in connection with change projects, or the so-called ”millennials“, who are regarded with such suspicion. The subject of leadership will play a particularly significant role, since change without leadership doesn‘t work (any more) – on the principle: if you want to get things changed, you must have the courage to lead the way. Your Ketchum Pleon Team
LIST OF CONTENTS 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 How to beat the ”change blues“ Are you weary and exasperated every time a new change in the company is announced? Here are a few tips. Drivers of change Various types of change keep us on our toes: an attempt at systematization. The (mis-?)guiding principles debate Guiding principles have a certain notoriety. This article explains why these vision statements are better than their reputation often seems to suggest. Companies are not peddlers of fairy tales Why change communications benefits from powerful stories and genuine emotions. Help! Millennials! Is a new generation transforming the world of work? A look at the new kids on the block. And what do you stand for? Theme-centric leadership makes the agenda setting approach viable for one‘s own leadership work. The customer at the desk beside me When customers suddenly play a key role in product development, the result is fear – and opportunities. The Wizard of MarCom Between customer contact and process optimization. A trip to the magical world of marketing. The right speed Talking to Prof. Joachim Klewes about regattas, speed and the art of saying no. Taking a stand There‘s no hiding-place. Personnel and the public expect to hear an opinion. And they expect decisions. // 3
THE CHANGE BLUES Tired? Listless? Heard it all before? Here are four tips to help you overcome the corporate ailment of the decade. Everything changing, everything in a state of flux... Companies repeat employees have heard, but not heeded, the messages from their the call for change like a mantra – and in doing so set off a full-scale CEO. Instead, they are following the statements and actions of alarm. ”We need to adapt to the markets! We need to serve our custo- their line managers. Even more important for them are the ”inter- mers better! We need to develop a new business model! It‘s about nal networkers“: colleagues who are well informed and who enjoy time IT was consolidated!“ Unfortunately, these regular appeals from respect across different divisions. There are several advantages in management to the organization tend to fall on deaf ears – a shrug of including these key figures in one‘s core team prior to launching a the shoulders, then they are forgotten about. Admittedly, the list of for- change initiative. Not only do they have the necessary powers of merly successful firms which have disappeared from the market over- persuasion – they also ensure an interdisciplinary setup. night is a lengthy one. And the market leaders certainly don‘t defend their position by sitting back and relaxing. But if those who believe that Before the core team gets down to work, it should engage in a doing things just for the sake of doing them is going to solve all their frank and open dialog about the fundamental goals and content of problems have their way, then the whole organization will end up with the project. This may not sound particularly exciting, yet it is very a collective burnout. Paralysis, not progress, will be the result. There is important, as the following test shows. Ask the members of your no panacea for chronic organizational exhaustion, but there some project team to answer two questions, allowing them one sen- s timulants that are highly effective provided the dosage is correct. tence for each response: ”What are we doing in our project?“ and ”Why are we doing it?“ In most cases you will receive many diffe- Tip number 1: The core team. To ensure clarity. rent answers to the same questions. Our experience has shown that a professionally organized alignment dialog in the core team So top management has given an assurance of its commitment to – based on a workshop or individual interviews – is necessary in the planned change initiative? Just a pity that most company order to sound out the opinions of the key group of multipliers and
THE CHANGE BLUES facilitators. This is the only way to develop a unified vision of // 5 Tip number 4: Project pitstops. To preempt complaints. change, which can then be communicated across subprojects, corporate functions and regions. Companies need to find out which formats match their own corporate culture and to what extent. But they should also be prepared to experiment with interaction. All too often, the willingness of emplo- Tip number 2: Informal information. To create viral effects. yees to participate is underestimated. At the same time, the umpteenth workshop or large-group event is hardly likely to lessen any change fatigue they may be experiencing. Here, the support of top The core team is in place and is clear about its objectives? The next management is absolutely essential for the core team if the latter step should be to wheel out the concept. Time for that time-honored aims to shape the change process as variably and as flexibly as pos- model, the communications cascade – or is it? Anyone who urges sible. Ensuring this high degree of adaptability is one of the greatest management to communicate the core messages from the top exe- challenges. The further the process advances, the more the core cutives down to the next level in the hierarchy need not be surprised team will be confronted by surprises and imponderables which in if a degree of paralysis sets in: the relevant information trickles turn require new measures to be taken. It is therefore advisable to through to the lower levels very slowly – if at all. In most instances make regular ”pitstops“ and to ask oneself: Are we still on track? middle management is out of its depth as far as placing strategic Where are we at risk of getting bogged down? Where are we simply initiatives in context or working out its own team‘s contribution is marking time? But also: What have we achieved so far? Can we concerned. The alternative? Viral effects and the ”spread the word“ communicate it? Just as important as a good start is the successful mechanism. Here, too, it is well worth having a well informed, exten- conclusion of a change project, allowing everyone involved to maxi- ded core team which gives credible backing to new ideas. Its mem- mize their learning experience and recharge their batteries – because bers can get the debate under way through informal chats in the it will just be a matter of time until the next change. // corridor, during coffee breaks or at company celebrations – without the need for lengthy workshops or training sessions. In this informal manner, people can share with others their own experiences as well as credible success stories. But one consistent core message concerning the aimed-for change needs to shine through all these conversations: What is to be the final outcome? What form will the intervening stages take? What is expected of individual employees? Tip number 3: Digital Dialog. To keep people on board. A further antidote to ”change fatigue“: when people are allowed to join Reference links in, they stay awake longer. In order to get their personnel involved, companies now have a range of digital communications tools at their disposal. With these, staff can discuss the change issues in real time and involve themselves actively in the content of the project. One Three books which our authors recommend: R. Langen, J. Klewes (2008): Change 2.0 Beyond Organisational Transformation; J.P Kotter . (2006): Das Pinguin-Prinzip. Wie Veränderung zum Erfolg führt. L. Dörfel (2007): Interne Kommunikation – Die Kraft entsteht im Maschinenraum. means of maintaining interest is the use of interactive comic stories which outline new forms of behavior. For instance, an employee in a company is faced with challenges which he can only overcome if he changes the way he thinks and acts. Staff can decide at regular intervals how the story is to continue. And the comments function enables @Michaela Hase is a member of the Munich Change Team and assists companies and departments with their change processes. She believes that ”the individual steps must always be understandable. “ them to discuss the progress of the story. At Nokia Siemens Networks, for example, a learning comic was successfully linked to an inhouse quality campaign. An alternative tool to put individual employees‘ willingness to change to the test is the online simulation of decisionmaking scenarios that are critical for success. In this case the participants can choose between different alternatives; for example, they can select the course of action which fits in best with the company‘s redefined guiding principles. The employees then receive direct feedback about the option they have chosen and its possible impact. @Daniel Coloma also works in the Munich office. He sees the art of successful change communications as the ability to get everyone on board on the road to change – even if announcements need to be made from time to time.
6 // DRIVERS OF CHANGE Consequences and challenges DRIVERS OF CHANGE CULTURE Companies‘ response to trends ORGANIZATION Consequences and challenges For example divisional mergers, company mergers & acquisitions, restructuring and downsizing // Paralysis of processes and questioning of routines // Skepticism and fear of close contact For example customer responsiveness program, management development, implementation of values // Lack of understanding of ”soft topic“ // Insufficient consideration of own behavior patterns between company and organizational units // Anger, resistance and demotivation among // On managerial level: feeling of being overstretched and fear of more transparency // Lack of support from top management employees Globalization Demographic change Flexibilization Lifelong learning Work-life balance Diversity & inclusion Knowledge society Emerging markets
DRIVERS OF CHANGE // 7 Social trends – whether the new era of lifelong learning or digital networks which revolutionize interpersonal relationships – are drivers of corporate change, influencing companies‘ organizational structures, corporate cultures, business strategies and IT systems. Each change scenario confronts change managers and communicators with different challenges. One common factor for success remains the same: change can only succeed if it is implemented with the people involved and if management makes a point of seeking dialog. STRATEGY IT & PROCESSES For example vision/mission, internationalization, sales & marketing strategy For example Enterprise 2.0, logistics program, software introduction // Rejection and protest, e.g. because no // Lack of understanding and loss of trust // Uncertainty about objectives // No necessity for change of strategy value added recognizable // Fear of greater transparency in tasks/ roles/areas of responsibility discernible among employees // Fear of having insufficient skills/ qualifications Sustainability Social media Mass customization Big data Digital lifestyle @Isabel Schaller is an art director with Ketchum Pleon Düsseldorf. She believes that infographics are the ideal medium for complex subject matter.
Putting corporate identity to the test Why value processes can be business drivers. And so often don‘t work.
Corporate Identity // 9 Guiding principles – or the company‘s ”vision statement“ – have managing board was then followed by the go-ahead for the introduction regained popularity, as the result of a growing desire for orientation in an of the system worldwide – in the form of dialog formats right down to ever faster-paced corporate environment. In their standard form, these team level. principles describe the purpose, the long-term development and the characteristics of an organization‘s internal collaboration and/or external In many companies, employees greet the announcement of a value image. In other words, the principles encompass mission, vision, values workshop with a good deal of skepticism. They fear it will simply turn into and basic managerial precepts. They provide identity and encourage just another pointless ”love-in“. But many of the attendees discover to identification. That‘s the theory, anyway. In reality, however, many organi- their amazement that the workshop has given them more impetus for zations draw a line at the point where the real work should be starting. their business activities and collaboration than all the routine meetings All too often, all there is to show at the end of the value or vision state- held over the past month. ment process is a brochure, courtesy of the managing board, which is then to be passed on to the organization by way of ”communiqués“. The This is invariably the case when companies link the value or vision state- motto: ”Start living, please!“ Those managers who adopt this approach ment process to their business processes. That‘s because values are not and refuse to involve personnel in the development of the vision state- an end in themselves. They are a tool for turning attention on key issues ment need not be surprised at the lack of enthusiasm which they and themes, such as taboo subjects within teams or partisan feuding encounter. The response among staff is predictable: ”Read it, had a between departments. A shared understanding sharpens the focus on laugh, filed it away“. They sense the huge gulf between the theoretical more general corporate matters and raises the question: What is impor- image of the company and everyday reality. tant for us? The fact that brochures are no longer first choice when it comes to communicating a firm‘s guiding principles is further exempli- A value such as trust, for example, is easily reduced to absurdity when a fied by an energy utility. This company had to undertake a major restruc- company, instead of showing trustfulness, imposes on its staff a series turing process and decided to depict the organization‘s actual and targe- of complex rules and regulations for signing documents. When participa- ted states in the form of a story map. The scenes, showing everyday life tion is preached but top-down decrees are the reality. When better cus- in the company, provided a high degree of identification potential and tomer responsiveness is demanded, but all that really matters is that the facilitated the discussion of strengths and weaknesses. All the depart- firm comes off best. ments and teams had a shared image of the state of the organization as well as a joint understanding of how the future is to be approached. When developing their guiding principles, companies waste a great deal of potential by failing to transport the dialog about the existing and the Conclusion: A vision statement process only becomes fully effective if at targeted corporate culture or strategic focus to the organization as a least as much time is spent on the ”anchoring“ as on the development whole. An example of how to do this more effectively is the method process, and communication relies not only on campaign elements. adopted by Festo AG, a leading international producer of industrial auto- These statements come alive if they set a debate in motion across hier- mation solutions. The company‘s top management began by implemen- archical and divisional boundaries and also motivate personnel to add ting a multi-stage values process in order to create an initial framework. their own stories to them. // The basis for this was formed by so-called ”cultural drawings“: these were drawings compiled by management which illustrated both existing and desirable types of behavior at Festo. They provided answers to such questions as ”What makes us proud?“ ”What are the dos and don‘ts at Festo?“ ”Which situations best exemplify our corporate culture?“ Some 300 managers worldwide were involved in this discussion and definition of future corporate values. In addition, a cross-divisional Sounding Board, working in close collaboration with a Values Committee, analyzed the initial drafts of the vision statement. The next step was to launch a company-wide dialog, in which personnel discussed the suggested cultural dimensions in the intranet, Reference links Harvard professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter names ten success factors for creating value by means of values in the following article: http://blogs.hbr. org/2010/06/ten-essentials-for-getting-val/ @Markus Czeslik is a Senior Consultant and also head of Ketchum Pleon‘s Germany Change Team, which is based in Munich. He attaches great importance to active listening and to showing a high degree of empathy. putting forward various theories and proposals. With this ”culture @Kerstin Straubinger square“, employees were presented with two different options for each is an Associate Consultant Change. She is convinced that values will play an increasingly significant role in companies as well as in society as a whole. dimension, i.e. ”more of this“ or ”less of this“: for example, should the company exercise caution or should it be bold when it comes to decision-making? Finally, the findings of the culture square project enabled the team to formulate concise, distinctive values. Ratification by the
COMPANIES ARE NOT PEDDLERS OF FAIRY TALES But change processes need a story. Why? ”The only people who like change are wet babies. That was my “ the Koran, or possibly ”The Alchemist“ (Paulo Coelho), ”The Little first thought when I replaced the handset. I had just had one of my Prince“ (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry) or ”The Catcher in the Rye“ shortest telephone conferences as a manager – but this phone call (J.D. Salinger) are often named. Stories are powerful. They can was destined to turn my life upside down. I had been with the lead to suicides (Goethe‘s ”Werther“) or perhaps warn against sui- same company for close to twenty years, felt completely at home cide (Christiane F.: ”We Children of Bahnhof Zoo“). They can help there, was involved in all decision-making, enjoyed the company of people overcome their fear of the dark (C.S. Lewis: ”The Chronic- close friends there. Suddenly, everything was to change. Stran- les of Narnia“) and shine a light of hope (H.B. Stowe: ”Uncle Tom‘s gers began to appear: I felt they were intruders in our cozy little Cabin“). Storytelling is currently one of the most frequently dis- world. In no time at all, everything was new. This was a journey I cussed hadn‘t asked for. It was simply forced upon me. I had to change. communications experts. And so, slowly, I began to come to terms with my fate… Whatever topics the among subject, Change managers recognize the ”power of storytelling“ ”storytelling“ seems to Do you have a story that changed your life? There are different be the key to success. It is hardly surprising, then, that change answers to this question. Some people choose to tell their own managers, HR departments and occupational psychologists are all story, others refer to something they have read or heard. The Bible, deeply interested in ”the power of the story“.
storytelling & Change // 11 And rightly so, because research projects on persuasion conclu- The parable. In this case change processes are illustrated with the ded some time ago that good stories are more convincing than aid of analogies. The actual situation in the company, the targeted mere facts. Skeptics can be won over by stories much more rea- situation, or the path from the former to the latter are compared with dily than by factual arguments or dry statistics. Neuroscientists scenarios involving, for example, nature, technology, art or sport. understand the reason for this: whereas data activates individual Parables make storytelling more vivid and more accessible and also areas of our brain, stories spread themselves over quite a few regi- simplify the presentation of complex processes. ons of the brain. Stories make a visual impact. They are ”cinemas of the mind“. They arouse emotions, consolidate information, and The field report. Specific case studies demonstrate the require- trigger associations. Best of all: good stories are ”viral“. They are ments involved in change processes. The listener recognizes himself related – shared – time and time again. So what makes a good or herself in the report and develops his or her experience further. story – and a good corporate story? The personal report. Managers are people and people set change Five elements ensure success processes in motion. Managers motivate their teams both personally and emotionally using personal stories about the starting-point Every story needs a good reason to be told. The beginning of every of change through to a description of the journey from the actual corporate story is therefore a clear positioning of the corporate brand state to the aimed-for state. (meaningful brand), providing convincing answers to the question: ”What does this company seek to achieve?“ (vision). … and my own, very personal journey? Three years after the merger of Ketchum and Pleon there are many stories about the union Every good story needs a clearly recognizable hero. That‘s because of the two agencies. Most of them begin ”Once upon a time... “ we identify more readily with an individual person than with nameless and many of them have a happy ending, including my own story. At groups. A further tip: the company does not necessarily have to be the present I am Chief Creative Officer at Ketchum Pleon, Europe‘s hero of the story – it could be an employee or even a customer. Agency of the Year in 2013, which was honored with one Gold and several Silver and Bronze Lion Awards at last year‘s International Every good story begins with a conflict situation. In corporate com- Festival of Creativity in Cannes. // munications we are accustomed to talking about solutions. But good stories thrive on drama, on the challenges which the hero has to face up to. The sense of conflict heightens the tension within the story. And the more detailed the description of the conflict, the more splendid the ultimate solution appears. Good stories move us emotionally and entertain us. To win over the skeptics, stories must contain passion (and pain). This is quite a challenge for many corporate communicators, who are used to conveying information through factual reports and serious articles. Good stories are inspiring and they are viral. And that is what corporate storytelling needs to be. Good stories will circulate automatically in companies and organizations. The challenge is therefore to make use of the right information channels but also to demonstrate courage and tolerance, especially when stories are altered and expanded (”user-generated content“). Stories are helpful in changing patterns of behavior. Fairy tales tell us reference Links We attach great importance to storytelling and creativity. You will find articles and helpful suggestions about these topics in our blog www.kpg-blog.de and in various presentations available free of charge in lideshare. S what we should do or not do and how we can make our way through life successfully. Don‘t trust a stranger (Red Riding-Hood); brains win @Petra Sammer out over brawn (The Brave Little Tailor); lies will soon catch up with is our Chief Creative Officer and definitely not a peddler of fairy tales. But one of her hobbies is storytelling. She holds workshops and training courses for clients and colleagues all over Europe. you (Pinocchio). But companies don‘t tell fairy tales. So what do successful corporate stories suitable for change processes sound like? And where do these stories come from? Three types have proven particularly successful:
HELP! MILLENNIALS! Is a new generation changing the world of work? long-serving colleagues. Frequently, the millennials are accused of lacking depth, having a weak mindset and being poor at putting arguments across. For their part, the younger generation views their bosses as inflexible control freaks with inadequate leadership skills. And it can safely be assumed that this source of tension will increase in years to come, especially since the millennials will account for more than half of the working population by the year 2020. So is it high time that companies adapted themselves to the employees of the future? Or is sim- Do you know the eager beavers? Professional people who work ply another case of two generations at odds with each other – just like according to the carrot principle: they start off small and work hard their predecessors? to receive their due reward – a well-paid job. The so-called ”millennials“ are completely different. The members of this younger genera- A closer look at the millennials reveals a target group which has very tion, today‘s 18- to 33-year-olds, have no wish to put their private different expectations. It goes without saying that the tasks involved in lives on hold simply to boost their career prospects, according to the one‘s job must be attractive and meaningful – but certainly not to the PwC consultancy. In April 2013, PwC published the largest-ever detriment of one‘s pri- international study of the expectations of the generation born from 1980 onward. For this survey, their experts interviewed approximately 44,000 persons – all of them PwC employees, it should be pointed out. The provisional conclusion: millennials are changing Sure, the tasks involved in the job must be attractive and meaningful – but not to the detriment of one‘s private life. vate life. Besides, the majority of 33-year-olds 18- to have no wish to tie themselves the working culture worldwide. They are putting firms under incre- to a particular company asing pressure to adapt, according to the authors of the study. for the longer term. At the same time, they are not interested in changing job frequently. They And sure enough, the millennials are surging on to the labor market take flexibility on the part of the employer for granted, including home and creating more and more difficulties for companies. Friction is office, variable working hours, and a high degree of freedom. But then almost guaranteed when younger employees come up against their everything should preferably take place within well-ordered structures.
HELP! MILLENNIALS! // 13 In this scenario a key role is played by recognition and appreciation by attention than all other generations before it. In other words, one‘s superiors. 41 percent of millennials would like to be praised at established professionals and managers are now relatively well least once a month, the PwC study adds. The working climate is impor- informed about the millennials, their expectations and their potential. tant: for newly recruited professionals, teamwork and a sense of Secondly, the younger employees are now more open and accessible togetherness are attributes which characterize a good company. to older colleagues than they were just ten years ago. They accept authority provided that it is backed up by competency and they can Who is actually changing whom? ”fit in“ without losing authenticity. And thirdly, pressure to innovate has increased substantially, with the result that many firms are Is this a new generation of slackers which has grown up, with com- automatically dependent on impulses from the younger generations. pletely wrongheaded ideas about work and career? Most unlikely. Rather, their expectations reflect the unsettled situation of young Ultimately, it is up to companies themselves whether they create a people who are faced with economic constraints and social impon- suitable platform for millennials. And, to be honest, who wouldn‘t derables. Internships, short-term contracts, project work, freelan- want to work in an environment which meets the expectations we cing – these are frequently the everyday realities of life as a millen- have referred to? Flexible worktime models, greater transparency as nial. It is also what makes this generation so skeptical toward regards career development, attractive salaries, an honest and more colleagues who have climbed the ladder by way of traditional career intensive exchange of information and opinions between manage- histories and employment models. ment and employees, team spirit and a sense of togetherness: these are all factors which make for a pleasant working environment Organizations would be well advised to listen more carefully to what – and not only for the millennials. Perhaps it‘s time to help them younger staff have to say. That‘s because there are many positive achieve their objectives? Even the ”eager beavers“ have come to sides to the millennials: they are well educated, they are perfectly these conclusions. // willing to make compromises if the underlying conditions are acceptable, and they are totally up to date in technological matters. They could, to name just one They are well educated, they are perfectly willing to make compromises if the underlying conditions are acceptable, and they are totally up to date in technological matters. example, be effective driving-forces behind social business and the ongoing development of companies toward Enterprise 2.0, if they were allowed to and no obstacles were placed in their path. The older generation, in particu- Reference links The findings of the PwC study, in which 44,000 members of the consultancy‘s staff were interviewed, are available (summarized in English) here. lar, could learn a great deal from the millennials in this field. After all, the next generation has an important role to play in the evolution of social systems – and that‘s what companies and organizations are. This has been shown by studies undertaken by the The complete survey by generation researcher Bontekoning, entitled ”The Evolutionary Power of New Generations“, can be downloaded (as a pdf file) here. Dutch generation researcher Aart C. Bontekoning. According to these, employees born in 1975 or later, i.e. the predecessors of the millennials, began their careers with a great deal of enthusiasm and willingness to change. However, many of them were unable to get past older colleagues and soon had to resign themselves to established working methods. This cost them a lot of energy – and it was a lost For a more humorous slant on this subject, here is a light-hearted video clip on how to deal with millennials at the workplace. Back in 2009, the IDEO innovation consultants came up with four tips on how to manage millennials – these tips are still valid today. Getting the best out of millennials? More tips are available from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School here. opportunity for companies to optimize processes and develop new business ideas. @Thomas Fischer A generation under close scrutiny is a Senior Consultant at Ketchum Pleon Düsseldorf, working alongside both millennials and eager beavers. Are the millennials threatened with the same fate as their immediate predecessors? Bontekoning gives three reasons why this is unlikely to be the case. Firstly, today‘s younger generation receives more
AND – WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR? The changing ways in which managers put themselves across. Or: what leadership communications can learn from the agenda setting concept. In our numerous talks and discussions with HR experts at the present Step 1: Topic identification. Authenticity and natural authority are time there is one constantly recurring theme: the problems which enhanced if the manager does not borrow the theme from other students and graduates have with long-established management people, but defines it himself or herself. Successful managers link models in companies and organizations. But all is not lost – in our content and substance to personal involvement and emotionality. estimation, the hierarchical managerial structure will soon be a thing of But these attributes can only develop if the manager relies on his or the past. It is no longer capable of inspiring employees or generating her own value systems, in other words he or she is familiar with team spirit. The traditional approach to management is being replaced by them and can verbalize them. a leadership concept which focuses on ideas and issues that are designed to motivate employees. The theme-centric leadership is geared Step 2: Relevance test. The topic suits his or her own value sys- to the agenda setting concept associated with traditional PR: How does tem? Then, in the second step, it must be verified for corporate rele- a topic get placed on the public agenda? And how can we ensure it will vance and substance. Personnel surveys, organizational analyses be the subject of discussion? The following seven steps can be helpful and focus groups can play a useful role when its suitability is being to managers as they seek to find and make use of a specific theme checked. which will fit in with both their leadership behavior and their organization.
und – wofür stehen sie? // 15 Step 3: Reduction of complexity. The topic requires a catchphrase, by the professional environment through implicit and explicit rules. a buzzword or a brief sentence which is immediately clear and which The tendency is to send managers to the next training course in conjures up various internal images spontaneously. If it is enhanced order to iron out any weaknesses they may have rather than to with creativity, the outcome is a key idea. This is the common thread strengthen their individual leadership style. Yet it is a well-known fact through all management communications. Images and symbols play that people are successful in those areas where they have the their part in capturing this key idea ”in a nutshell“. greatest enjoyment and which they can be passionate about. Focusing on a topic – and this involves tracking it forcefully and Step 4: Launch of communications. Every theme which is to be emotionally – will only succeed if the manager can defend and justify publicized for the first time requires a precise starting-point. This can it credibly and authentically. be a video message to all personnel or an inhouse townhall meeting. The important thing is that managers succeed in encouraging ”What do you stand for?“ is not only the title of a successful book. enough people to discuss their topic, for example by way of an It is a question which managers should answer for themselves if online platform. they aspire to theme-oriented leadership in relation to their personnel. The prerequisite for a credible answer is an honest debate about Step 5. Efficient communications. New dialog-based internal chan- one‘s own values. What is needed is fundamental convictions and a nels, such as the social media or Enterprise 2.0 applications, are also clear mindset which must be conveyed to other people with due changing managerial communications. However, personal contact, com- respect – and which provides others with sufficient space to develop bined with clear messages, remains indispensable; the key idea must their own strengths. Only then will managers produce, within their permeate all of the channels. teams, acceptance, identification and, above all, critical appraisal which will have a lasting positive impact on their own development Step 6: Storytelling. Storytelling is (again) increasing in importance and the advancement of the organization. // in the management sector. And not without good reason: memory researchers refer to the ”episodic memory“ which stores our life story or key moments in our (working) life. Stories are helpful because they link the topic and the leader together permanently and facilitate a more lasting memory of the content. Step 7: Networks. In order to set things in motion, ”supporters“ are needed: people who can be inspired by the same subject matter or the same idea. Theme-centric management also needs to convince critics and permit dialog. Managers should begin networking with people who have an interest in similar topics as themselves. Self-concept as the basis for themecentric management Management‘s self-image is undergoing change. No long does a managerial post automatically mean respect and acceptance. This is Reference links One‘s own management topic can be effectively dealt with in a small workshop, since individual ”taking stock“ and the definition of credible focus subjects are advisable, so that the theme suits the manager in question. You are welcome to get in touch with us about this. particularly the case with the management of so-called ”millennials“. Effective, successful leadership is seen most clearly in difficult @Christof Biggeleben situations – for instance, when conflicts arise between members of is Head of Campaigning with responsibility for the development of key ideas and themes/topics for major companies, professional associations and top management. staff or when there is a downturn in the company‘s business activities. That is when judicious, convincing decision-making is essential. And one thing is required above all others: a clear, structured self-concept. @Frank Pieper Haven‘t you forgotten something? In the course of their careers, many managers have lost sight of this self-concept. As a result, they are unable to articulate the reasons why they reach their decisions. In many places success is determined is CEO of the wegweiser strategie agency and collaboration partner for a Ketchum Pleon client.
THE CLIENT AS COLLEAGUE Enterprise 2.0 as a platform for joint product developments. ”Shape the future together with us“ – with this slogan the BMW Group to now, that is. More and more companies are making the has been inviting private persons, universities and research institutes to changeover to Enterprise 2.0 (E 2.0) in order to increase their be part of the Virtual Innovation Agency (VIA) since 2001. Practically productivity, their effectiveness and, ultimately, their business anyone can submit patents, ideas or concepts relating to new tech- success. This includes better networking with customers. nologies and services for future mobility, according to the company‘s website. In this way BMW receives some 800 ideas every year, Acquiring product innovation including cultural change three percent of which are ultimately implemented within the automotive group. Enterprise 2.0 denotes a possible solution concept– including the removal of knowledge barriers in order to achieve greater value So the idea of asking fans of the company all over the world to play added in the form of social business. On the one hand, E 2.0 a part in the next ”quantum leap“ is not new. The advantages are looks to interactive ”social“ software to minimize the transaction obvious. On the one hand, customers have most of the knowledge costs for the exchange of knowledge and know-how. On the other about products, their possible applications and their own product hand, it is a question of a more or less radical change of culture requirements. On the other hand, the company‘s engineers, and leadership within organizations. This change weakens – or technicians and product developers are its key know-how owners. even does away with – traditional hierarchies and strengthens However, the interchange between the two groups leaves a lot to innovation and optimization. In other words, E 2.0 doesn‘t work be desired, with prejudices gaining the upper hand. Wasn‘t it without cultural change, because old knowledge patterns are Henry Ford who quipped: ”If I had asked people what they completely scrutinized here and – much to the disapproval of wanted, they would have said faster horses“? Customers should many long-established experts – coupled with the opinions and at most be allowed to contact a well-run service hotline. But assessments of customers with seemingly little or no knowledge. holding discussions on a level with qualified engineers is Once this obstacle has been cleared both internally and externally, something new altogether, with a few exceptions – see above. Up a real and excellent Enterprise 2.0 with substantial knowledge
der kunde als kollege and application potential can emerge. Andrew cAfee, Professor M // 17 Ready to go at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a leading thinker in the field of E 2.0, describes change as being essentially The technical preconditions for the scenario described are already ”the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, fulfilled. With the large external social networks we have a commu- or between companies and their partners or customers. “ nications infrastructure which facilitates the dialog between custo- Networking with customers, in particular, should provide firms mers and companies. And with the changeover from company to E with the impetus to press ahead with development toward E 2.0, 2.0, the first tools required for an interchange with the target groups because they can supply valuable opinions on products, are also available inhouse. Although the first examples have been companies and competitors. An additional factor is that a new implemented, misgivings with regard to data security, privacy, rights, form of customer relationship building results. motivation and actual usage still predominate. A possible scenario From customer to colleague The following – fictitious – scenario demonstrates how close The greatest change which companies will face is the different rela- networking with external target groups can be advantageous for tionship with their customers – and consequently the self-concep- companies: ”The spring of 2014. In the development laboratories tion of the research and development departments and the inhouse of the Wobble technology company, staff are working feverishly engineers. The customer is by no means at the end of the value on the next generation of smartphones. There is an air of chain. Now that customers have transformed the traditional sales expectancy, because the previous model broke all sales records. processes and marketing calculations thanks to the social networks, Then there is the company‘s own claim that it is constantly companies‘ entire production chains will have to adapt to them. The setting new standards in the fields of usability and functionality. customer thus becomes a development partner, a knowledge The goal for the new model is not only increased sales revenues owner, an amateur inventor with equal rights – ”at the desk beside but, above all else, innovation leadership. Accordingly, the you“, so to speak. The result: knowledge is partly democratized, but developers don‘t intend to rely on reviews, focus groups or their actual technical implementation and innovation will remain on the own know-how. They require detailed knowledge about what factory floor of companies for quite some time yet. At least until the prospective buyers are really looking for in a smartphone. They 3D printer comes into mass production and supersedes the traditio- are able to identify and contact their target groups accurately by nal production mechanisms. // means of a hybrid system that links the internal systems to external social networks such as Facebook, Weibo, Orkut and Vkontakte. Within the digital system, the developers open up a closed domain to which potential customers have access and to which they can submit their ideas for the new device. The range of suggestions extends from entirely pragmatic requirements such as impact resistance, improved resistance to wear and tear, and model life to utopian requests, such as self-learning algorithms which adapt themselves to the user. The pool of knowledge can be applied to the development process with the aid of the system – and thus ensures a quantum leap in Reference links You can find out more about the fundamental principles of and forecasts for Enterprise 2.0 in the New Year issue of Inspire magazine. An example from our own agency is the creative platform Mindfire (www.ketchum.com/mindfire), which integrates communications science students all over the world, enabling them to devise creative solutions for communications challenges. smartphone development. “ @Rüdiger Maeßen It would of course have been possible for companies to obtain detailed information about consumers‘ expectations prior to the i ntroduction of social software. However, this is still a labor-intensive and therefore expensive process. Thanks to the new capabilities resulting from ongoing Enterprise 2.0 development, a theoretically unlimited number of consumers can now play their part in improving products and solutions. And they can do so more or less ad hoc and without substantial opportunity costs, since the necessary information is already stored in Facebook, Google, etc., and – in this era of Big Data (http://bigcontext.interone.de/) – the basis is in place for the specific identification of one‘s target group. is head of the Düsseldorf Office and advises clients on all matters relating to digital technology and Enterprise 2.0. His Twitter account is @rmaessen. @Norbert Brema develops and manages digital campaigns and projects and could offer some corporations a number of recommendations for their product development...
the wizard of marcom A trip to the magical world of marketing. ”Toto, I‘ve a feeling we‘re not in Kansas anymore“: these are the first WoM. Some of these require very few financial resources and they words Dorothy speaks to her dog in the children‘s classic “The lead to the involvement of other (and smaller) enterprises. The really Wizard of Oz“ after both of them find themselves in completely , interesting aspect is not so much the greater diversity of channels strange surroundings. The movie, up to then black and white, sud- and the larger number of co-players, but rather the changes in the denly switches to color – just like the fantastic world of Oz with all its forms and methods of communications, especially the directness of exciting possibilities. A London-based B2B service provider chose this customer contact and the transparency of all activities. The latter analogy for its marketing manifesto, inspiring us to discuss new applies not only to prospective customers (Where are they? What do tasks and challenges in modern sales and marketing. they like? What is their ”digital body language“ like? Have they read my email and clicked on my banner?) but also to companies (Do we Everything is so colorful here! like what they are doing? Are they honest? Can they be contacted personally?). Both points lead to a basically more critical consumer Today‘s marketing managers may well find their present world of behavior which gives the cold shoulder to marketing speak and dubi- work totally changed in the same way as Dorothy finds the Land of ous advertising messages. Oz; the same applies to communications managers and their press activities. The fault lies – again – with the internet and the social media What does the brave new world mean for the professional image of a and the mushrooming number of marketing options, coupled with the marketing manager? The question here is not the undisputed need for simultaneous diversification of target groups. However, the marketing digital natives, but rather how the tasks of the MarCom (marketing issues remain the same. Where are there leads and opportunities? communications manager) will be expanded. Let‘s take a closer look Where could sales be increased? How can I avoid ending up in spam? at the MarCom: he or she first of all analyzes customers‘ opinions Not an easy task, considering the wide range of tools in the digital (which are received via various internal and external channels), the PR marketing toolbox: from e-books, SEOs, email blasts, communities reports, and the feedback from sales & marketing. Then content and and widgets to videos, games, tweets, web sessions, podcasts and processes are developed for different markets and channels. This
the wizard of marcom // 19 immediately poses an operational challenge, since in many compa- users‘ feedback. Personally. Based on a dialog. ”Learning“ marketing. nies neither the reporting structures nor the PR, marketing and sales That‘s the idea. The combination of ”database software to overcome managers are properly coordinated. The real magic trick then follows the coordination effort/outlay“ and the claim ”responding flexibly to when the challenge is to interlink the different activities in a meaning- customers‘ wishes and modifying activities accordingly“ appears ful manner. Back to the prospective customer: on average, a future contradictory. The art of being able to act personally and ”indepen- customer passes through at least seven points of contact, each one dently“ of software, in spite of automation, and especially in the case based on the previous one, until the business transaction is finally of service issues and nascent crisis issues, represents the next major completed. Theoretically, that is – if the customer doesn‘t take cold challenge. When decisions have to be taken which the ”system“ feet beforehand. And all too often the borderline to pushiness and does not offer, personnel are challenged to act on the basis of indivi- intrusiveness is crossed. Everyone is familiar with the constant flow dual responsibility. Each company should establish for itself whether of emails, calls to one‘s private mobile, ad stalking shortly after one they will, can and want to do this and on what basis. And that doesn‘t has clicked on products: in short, continual contact can quickly have a just apply to marketing. very negative effect. Home‘s best? To prevent interested parties from being lost again immediately, or from being left too soon to the tender mercies of Sales, or from helping to Thus, the duties of the marketing manager have a new layout, with a escalate an ongoing reputation crisis, the challenge here is to see the diverse range of ”little helpers“ on the technical side. There are bigger picture and to retain one‘s nerve. The new coordination require- increased expectations with respect to individual know-how and the ments have already produced a secondary market which is concerned ability to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration. The MarCom has to with the automation and control of marketing activities; here, terms undertake a balancing act here: maintaining the new (because direct) such as ”automated marketing“ and ”transactional marketing“ are contact with the customer, convincing the customer with good enjoying a similar hype to transmedial communications in the PR sec- content, while at the same time benefiting from the options which tor. This brings us back to the subject of Enterprise 2.0, because here process automation offers him or her. In many respects the manager too the major issue is how social technologies can be effectively used is in new territory and – unlike Dorothy in the ”Wizard of Oz“ – doesn‘t for organizations, both internally and externally, and how they can sim- have the option of clicking the heels of magic slippers to go back plify work processes. One thing is clear: the good old Excel table has home. It‘s high time, therefore, to face up to the new realities and finally had its day. break in the shoes, because ”we‘re not in Kansas anymore“ and – sorry, Dorothy – we‘ll never be returning there. // Here are some examples of marketing tools: Spredfast or vitrue for instance, can be used for the scheduling of tweets and posts. In Eloqua, on the other hand, complete marketing processes can be planned and are then implemented automatically. When the customer does A, he or she receives information B. If he/she reads/does not read this information, the result is C/D, and so on. The setup is new and the planning complex – if it is set up wrongly, it is liable to frighten off rather than attract prospective customers. The investment is chiefly worthwhile for fragmented, highly complex marketing activities. More important than ever: in order to get people interested by means of – or in spite of – mar- Reference links Like to find out more? You will find various online marketing ”faux pas“ (including circumvention strategies) here: http://bit.ly/wAF8F6. A study undertaken by FedEx and Ketchum Pleon (http://bit.ly/MjMz3Z) looks at the subject of Social Business, while the Zocalo Group‘s FanRally provides an interesting approach to brand advocacy communications. keting automation, the content needs to be convincing. And even the very best coordination software cannot take the place of a fundamental understanding of communications and knowing when the timing is right (and when it is wrong). The saving in time must be invested in the compilation of content and monitoring of one‘s own activities. This leads on to our last point, which also uncovers a paradox in relation to the marketing development referred to: so-called ”responsive marketing“ has as its objective the flexibilization of one‘s own communications. No longer is there the one rigid ”prospect funnel“ which is developed once a year and always used in the same way. Instead, with this method the marketing activities are adapted flexibly, depending on users‘ behavior. And also revised and improved, depending on @Sven Kleibrink is a Consultant at our Düsseldorf Office and spends his days plumbing the depths and admiring the miracles of the new world of marketing. He‘d like to go to Oz too some day. @Anneke Rusch is a Senior Consultant with a primary focus on ”transactional marketing“. Her verdict: the secret is to keep an eye on the ”bigger picture“ – and not to leave everything to automation.
THE RIGHT SPEED Interview with Prof. Joachim Klewes about values, change and choosing the right race course.
THE RIGHT SPEED // 21 Professor Klewes, at management level there are frequently What has been the secret of success of long-established corpo- complaints that it is becoming increasingly difficult to predict rations such as Bayer, MAN, Carl Zeiss or Siemens, which have future market developments. Forecasts are scrapped, changes been in existence for more than a century? in strategy are called for at regular intervals. This creates the Let me answer that with another question: Are these the same com- impression that we are passing through a period of uncertainty panies they were a hundred years ago or even just five years ago? and instability. Do you share this view or is it simply the media The answer is obvious. Here, too, the principle applies: if these firms looking for sensational headlines? hadn‘t changed, they would have disappeared years ago. There can be doubt that the speed of change nowadays is so great that companies, managers and employees have to cope with much In what direction will change management/change communica- more uncertainty. The media has no other choice but to report on tions develop/have to develop in order to keep pace with the this – for better or for worse. Unfortunately for consultants like our- high speed of change? Or is it increasingly the task of change selves it often means that the half life of our recommendations is managers and change communicators to take this speed out of drastically reduced. Consulting is now much more challenging than the processes? it was twenty or thirty years ago. No, that‘s not their job. I don‘t believe in any increase or decrease in speed. What matters, in my view, is to find the correct pace for each So what can companies fall back on in times of instability and journey of change and then to decide whether and how this pace uncertainty? What is particularly important now? can be maintained. If it‘s not going to work out, then another course I have never been one of those persons who pop up with a one-size- should be chosen. We as consultants should never be satisfied with fits-all remedy or a simple solution. There is not one single issue the ”how“, but always focus on the ”whether“ and the ”what“. which is all-important. It is like a sailing regatta: if you want to be one Otherwise we are not worth the money. // of the first over the line, it‘s not enough just to select the right course, judge the wind correctly, trim your sails skillfully, make sure the boat is not too light or too heavy, have a well-trained crew on board – everything must come together as perfectly as possible. Staying with this image, every company should also ask itself: Do I really want to take part in this race? Do I really want to sail or would I make more headway in some other type of sport? What I mean is that it‘s not enough for firms to adapt themselves as best they can during a period of instability: they must try to define the rules of the game themselves. How can company management successfully ensure greater calm and composure in corporate leadership, instead of simply being driven by changes and change initiatives? Well, management shouldn‘t take the ”remaining calm“ bit too far. What I advocate is a high degree of alertness. And the solutions are different for the different echelons of management. However, there are a few good concepts which work practically everywhere. These include having clear fundamental values. A high degree of consensus among top management and in the teams – that‘s something one can work on. And an openminded corporate culture that detects and tackles problems before they can develop. This may all sound simple, but: if these three aspects are put into practice, management will have nowhere to hide. This takes a lot of effort – but we communications consultants can be of assistance! Weiterführende Links @Joachim Klewes Together with Paul J. Kohtes, Joachim Klewes (59) who founded Kohtes & Klewes, which subsequently became Pleon and is now Ketchum Pleon. He continues to assist the agency by undertaking challenging consulting tasks for both old and new clients. He also manages the ”change centre foundation“, which he established, and the ”change centre consulting“ for nonprofit clients. He is also an Honorary Professor of Political Communications at the Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf. @Christin Käppler Are there any recipes for success which have protected companies against crises in the past and which are still valid today? Most certainly! The readiness to throw recipes for success overboard and to keep trying out new ones. In other words, living out the ”love it, change it, leave it“ philosophy as a company. works for the Ketchum Pleon Change Team in Munich. Her verdict: There is simply no template for successful change projects – it‘s the blend of experience and empathy which counts.
22 // position beziehen TAKING A STAND About the need for a new corporate mindset. An article by Dirk Popp, CEO Ketchum Pleon. Marissa Mayer of Yahoo is faced with a dilemma. She is arguably the company forward together, a different approach will be needed in most modern manager of an exciting online company which deals the future: a clear mindset, a clear stance. Internally, it fosters a with new trends and technologies on a daily basis and is confronted shared communications culture by providing orientation. Externally, with the challenge of having to reinvent itself. Or being allowed to. it creates a clearly defined position in relation to stakeholders. And, Marissa Meyer has such an authoritarian management style and thirdly, it furthers the innovativeness of companies and organizations. employs Let us take a closer look at each of these three aspects. such detailed efficiency checks and controversial assessment systems that it is evident that two different worlds are on a collision course here. They symbolize the crossroads at which 1. Shared Mindset for the communication culture managers often find themselves nowadays. These managers operate in an environment full of new technologies, against a backdrop of For many years, firms sought to harmonize communications content greater transparency, new ways of working, and new generations of by way of such concepts as ”one voice policy“, ”binding corporate employees – an environment where managers are required to take guidelines“, or hierarchical information and release/clearance decisions for which there are no precedents and no instructions. In cascades. With the growth in real-time communications and with many enterprises radical innovations should be on the agenda – customers consequently expecting more rapid responses from involving budget shifts or modern team structures, for example – but companies, these concepts have now served their purpose. The in my experience most managers prefer instead to revert to long- place of ”one voice“ has been taken by ”Polyphonie“ in which all , established processes and standards which no longer fit the bill. In employees consciously or unconsciously play a pivotal role in order to ensure the support of one‘s employees and to lead the building reputation – among friends and acquaintances and across
TAKING A STAND // 23 all channels of professional and private communications (see also Coke, Apple and Google are often cited as best-practice corporations the findings of the Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor for innovative culture, providing their workforces with a time quota 2013, KLCM). Ideally, the corporate mindset is the new ”cement“ for the development of new ideas. But for more recently established which holds these many-voiced representatives together. It provides innovators, progress can be made in smaller steps. For example, one behavioral orientation, challenging and supporting the independence current trend is the setting up of ”labs“: these are innovation and individual initiative of personnel. ”Discerning a clear future laboratories designed to stimulate their own personnel‘s thought through the fog of today“ is how the KLCM, describes this process: processes (for instance the Creation Center or T-labs 2.0). In only in this way can at least a sense of safety and security be achieved addition, institutionalized (and therefore frequently over-complicated) in the ”new“ environment. The personal attitude required in o
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