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Top Ten Communication Topics For 2012

January 27th, 2012

Communication is like the hidden grease that makes the wheels turn smoothly in a business – when it’s there, you don’t notice it at all, but when it’s not the pain (and costs!) can grow very rapidly.

One organization that I find often has interesting and valuable resources related to communication is HumaNext, and they recently came out with their top 10 communications topics for 2012, which rang a lot of bells for me so I thought I would share the wealth.

According to their posting, they don’t use surveys to gather data, but rather look at where companies are actually investing money in communication tools and products in order to determine the hot trends.  From that data, they have identified the following top 10 communication trends for 2012 (comments in brackets are mine):

  1. Employee engagement (due to the current economic challenges and need to stretch resources, this keeps its place as a hot topic)
  2. Strategic Communications (more and more communications efforts need to support strategic objectives – which has the pre-requisite of needing the strategic objectives to be understood and communicated!)
  3. Managers as Communicators (ties in the previous item with the need to communicate the strategic objectives)
  4. Communication ROI, Measure and Audit (it’s important to know what the ROI of communications is, but the challenge is a little like preventative health – how do you measure the reduction in cost by preventing problems?)
  5. Leadership Communications (leaders need to be able to communicate effectively and powerfully both within their organizations and to the outside world)
  6. Managing Generations at Work (we’re all familiar with the challenges of different generations working together, but it’s not only the different expectations and attitudes, even the means of communication may be different from gen Y to the older generations)
  7. Electronic Newsletters (companies are doing this more and more, but is the effectiveness still there?  are we getting into information overload / newsletter blindness – I think there are some interesting conversations to be had here.)
  8. Cross Cultural Communication and Global Competence (what is a truly international communication? how do you sell to multiple very different cultures?  what does it mean to be a global organization, or, particularly, to become a global organization)
  9. Diversity and Inclusion (aging workforce, growing awareness of physical and mental disabilities, more and more diverse cultural groups working together, immigration issues, minorities – the discussions can be difficult and even risky for companies)
  10. Social Media (is it a fad, a tool, a money pit?  It’s definitely a hot topic and can give rise to both high potential risks and potential rewards…  Who is it useful for, and how?  And what is the actual payoff?)

All interesting questions that are part of the every day conversations in business, but I found the list interesting and a good starting point for potential discussion.

One other conversation we have been having internally relates to working remotely – while some companies have this nailed and extremely effective, others still struggle with the what, the how, and the maintaining the effective and close working relationships while at a physical distance.

Where are tbe communication challenges in your organization?  One of the above, or something different?

Katryn Business Growth, Communication

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