Week 12. Cost-effective corporate
- There are no fixed rules of how to communicate as long as
economic transactions are completed. Nor are there fixed rules for structuring
communication as long as an organization is successful.
- Managers who view communication and communication structure
as formulae limit their usefulness. Rather, effective communication that DOES NOT follow
rules is valuable because it can potentially show the manager new ways to reach
- Exercise: Have each student take two minutes to show and
explain the input/output diagram for his or her department.
- How does your transformation of the input to output materially move your
organization toward its strategic goal?
- What could your organization do better to achieve higher value output?
- What could your organization eliminate and still achieve its value-added output?
- NEXT weeks exercise: Continue verbal reports on projects. Each student will
have 10 minutes to deliver his or her report. The class will critique each report.
- Communication structure is embodied in individuals; it is
also dependent on, and limited, by them. People carry out strategy.
- Corporate communication structure is not static nor is it an assemblage of
diagrams, policies and assignments that run by themselves.
- The perfect communication structure would place the right information, message
sender, message, medium and message receiver in the right place at the right time so as to
maximize economic transactions and maintain corporate survival. Perfect communication
structure is impossible to achieve.
- A manager can envision many corporate communication links that must exist, but he
or she cannot envision them all. Corporate communication is messy.
- Managers develop simple communication structures in two ways from outside
an organization to inside and from inside to outside. These directions are not exclusive;
they represent a continuum of motion, like a pendulum. The beginning of the swing,
however, always lies outside with economic transactions.
- Corporate communication structure forges clear, simple and
common links from an economic transaction or influential to each organization activity. It
does not encompass all message and media at the boundary because it cannot.
- Corporate communication structure is process-based, but it
involves more than information flows.
- Corporate communication structure exists where rationality
mixes with emotion, where information is never sufficient and individuals may not be
persuaded to act.
- Information technology: The growth of information technology for the middle of
the 20th century to the present has followed a path toward information
integration, if not integrated communication structure.
- Information technologists learned early that their
challenge was not just storing data but also delivering it in ways people need to see it,
where they need to see it and as they need to use to develop and send effective messages.
- Network development has supported the technologists.
- Corporate communication structure in business has dispensed
with chronometric time and replaced it with event-driven time.
- Such panoptic power to integrate information, however, does
not eliminate the need for a message-sender to develop an effective message and deliver it
in a timely manner. It does, however, measurably advance the consistency of information
- Media and message receivers are open issues in simple communication structure.
There are two extremes, both dependent on message receivers.
- The single medium.
- Personalized media.
- In a perfect corporate communication structure, messages radiate evenly in all
directions on a single medium like a wave from a single stone dropped in a pond. In
actuality, corporate communication is like several pebbles dropped at various times with
multiple waves and interference patterns.
- In simple corporate communication structure, a manager looks for the most
effective and least costly medium to deliver information. It is vital to identify
commonalties that let one medium be used equally well in place of two. Intranets.
- As each new use is placed on the communication backbone, other media should be
displaced and the costs of maintaining them eliminated.
- It is more difficult in external communication to identify and implement a robust
medium that handles several kinds of communication, rather than one.
- When marketplaces do not allow a reduction in media, a form of simplicity is
possible through developing communication structures aligned with the message
receivers states of persuasion.
- Ultimately corporate communication structure is developed by ranking the key
audiences with economic power over a companys ability to complete economic
transactions and survive. Once messages and media have been developed and deployed for
these audiences, a manager can examine other media for usefulness.
- Media grow like weeds.
- Managers must audit messages and media continuously.
- A pragmatic manager will not destroy an existing
communication structure unless there is evidence that it is not working because the change
may be disruptive.
- Staffing corporate communication
- Starts with individuals who do a companys business and ensure its success.
- Communication staffing begins with the CEO who can be both conductor and player
in the corporate communication structure.
- CEOs are selective in communicating to key audiences because they lack the time
to be all things to all people.
- Normally, a CEO should keep communication staffing simple. The fewer the layers,
the closer a CEO stays to customers, influentials and others with economic power over a
- Four staffing options: One-on-one, hierarchical, oligarchical and team.
- There is no perfect way to staff communication structure. Manager should not put
faith in any structure as ideal because each one has both good and bad points.
- A manager also learns to change communication staffing as the business
- A manager can outsource communication staffing and structure, especially if the
business is an investment in which the manager has no operational responsibility.
- A manager can outsource media but not key messages.
- Simple communication structure hides complexity but does not get rid of it.
- The map of effective corporate communication
- The input/output model
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