Improved credibility results from strong and effective leadership communications planning. The benefits include increased levels of trust, improved alignment throughout all levels, better two-way communications, and the achievement of lasting results—all of which are a direct outcome of the strategies mentioned earlier in the chapter.
The planning process underscores the fact that everyone in the organization has a role to play in communications. The leader is the chief communicator, of course, but he or she should not be expected to shoulder the communications load alone. The leader should enlist the support of the leadership team as well as professional communicators. Furthermore, if the message is to be effective, everyone in the organization has to hear it. In addition, those at the top of the organization need to know what people are saying about the message. Communications is integral to an organization, and in the communications process you see just how important a role it plays in instilling the organization's vision, mission, and values. (For more on implementing a leadership communications plan, see Appendix A.)
Note: Surveys of organizational culture are another effective way to determine the communications climate. These surveys are designed to measure attitudes as well as business practices, customer service, operational focus, and mission, vision, and values. From these you can discern the communications climate. One of the best surveys of its kind is the Denison Organizational Culture Survey, which specializes in linking performance to bottom-line results. You can obtain more information by visiting Denison's web site at www.denisonculture.com.
Adapted from Mathis, Feeding the Media Beast, pp. 29-87.