During a recent conversation at a major bank the head of internal communications drew a line on a whiteboard - curving upwards ('A' in the picture above). 'When things are going well' she said 'the mood of our people is up.' Then she drew an opposing line curving down (B) explaining 'and then something can suddenly happen and the mood plummets.'
Then she drew a horizontal line (C) cutting through the two curves and said 'but our internal communications remains monotone, regardless of the situation. We don't tailor our communications to where people are: when they're up we should celebrating with them, otherwise we look out of touch; but when they're down we need to show empathy, otherwise we seem aloof and uncaring.'
What was lacking was a reliable guide to the mood of the organisation. Fortunately we're able to deploy a simple, rapid yet powerful method for this.
So, how are your internal communications - responsive or monotone?