An issue of concern for any professional communicator is how well they are performing, but performance has to be considered not just in metrics of communication skill proficiency, but how well the communications functions contributes to the overall organizational goals.
Over the past year and a half I looked into this issue in a research project with Mark Bain, a top communicator in his own right who now does consulting as owner of upper90 Consulting. We conducted a series of phone interviews and then a survey of top Chief Communication Officers (CCOs) at top companies and organizations around the country. This resulted in a an article, “High-Performing Corporate Communications Teams: Views of Top CCOs,” published in the latest issue of PR Journal (free online–a real benefit to professionals!). I’d encourage you to read it, but here are the takeaways:
From the interviews, these common themes emerged:
- High-performing teams are adaptable;
- High-performing teams are collaborative;
- High-performing teams possess specific and appropriate forms and levels of expertise;
- High-performing teams are analytical;
- High-performing teams demonstrate leadership across the organization;
- function’s work is aligned with business goals;
- people in the function collaborate effectively with others;
- the communication function adapts quickly to change;
- demonstrate respect for others;
- culture that allows people to do their best work;
- people in communication understand the company’s business;
- a clear role in the company;
- CEO support of the communications function;
- interpersonal skills.
- A CEO who doesn’t value her/his employees;
- lack of alignment around strategy;
- unhealthy work culture;
- inability of organization to adapt to change;
- lack of clear vision for the organization;
- difficulty hiring and retaining talent;
- a silo approach to working in the organization.