Using internal blogging as a leader
How do I communicate with my organization?
This is a challenge for any leader particularly as their organization grows. Leaders try to communicate through their staff to the rest of the organization, but the message is often distorted or diluted. Leaders try to communicate through lots of one-on-one conversations, but that is very slow and time-consuming. Leaders try to communicate through business-unit updates and town hall meetings, but they are often very scripted and impersonal. They are all good measures, but how can one enhance their communication impact?
I don’t mean blogging for the outside world, like I and many lean thinkers do. I mean private blogging, just for an audience inside the company. There are many tools available to do this in a controlled, and private way.
Why don’t more leaders do this? They are either afraid of making a mistake, or they don’t know what to write about.
First, it is hard to make too big of a mistake. It’s easy to make lots of little mistakes, but these are all forgivable and easily corrected. And most of them do not outweigh the mistake of under-communication.
Some advice of what to keep in mind as you start this practice:
- Don’t use blogging instead of real engagement, conversation, and coaching. This is in addition to, not instead of.
- Be prepared before opening this up to 2-way communication for the whole organization to see. You will have to be prepared to answer anything, and if you’re not ready, do not enable such methods yet.
- Do not assume everyone is going to read this. They are not. But if you are genuine, enough people will read it that you will have a positive impact.
- You don’t need to blog every day. Just enough to keep it in front of people. Weekly would be fantastic, but even monthly is more than some people would get to hear so that’s fine too.
Don’t know what to write about? Write about anything you are experiencing, thinking, or reflecting upon. Need some suggestions? Here’s a few starters or lead-ins for you to try out:
- “Last week I was visiting a customer and here’s what I saw…”
- “In working through this particular problem, this is what we learned…”
- “Here’s what I heard in a meeting and this is why it concerned me…”
You don’t have to be a perfect leader. You know this. You certainly don’t have to expect yourself to be a perfect blogger. But it’s one more tool in your toolbelt to help communicate with your organization.
How have you tried blogging with your organization? What’s stopping you from trying?