Stu Reed, a Motorola VP and a passionate proponent of 'straight talk' checked most of the boxes in communication this morning in a very engaging presentation.
Reed, was feted by IABC as this year's Excel (stands for "Excellence in Communication Leadership") award winner, which is to say he's the cherry on top of communication this year at the international conference. The kind of boss everyone would want to have.
In his straight talk about straight talk, he admitted he started off getting a 'C' in communications when Motorola conducted an audit. His lessons learned are well worth recounting:
- The most important communications should address the 'What's in it for me' factor.
- Communication is pretty simple, but binary: Go/No go.
- Communication is a process, not a fad.
- Don't communicate only when it feels good.
- Be proactive, even when you have to do reactive communications.
But there was one thing that stuck out --remember I said he 'checked most of the boxes.' Stu is still not ready to launch into blogs. He's holding on to the belief that he would rather make sure his team enhances existing communication processes before adding one more thing.
Controversial? Yes. At a later session this topic came up. You know, the 'what to do if your bosses don't get social media' question. To give Reed credit, he 'gets' the transparency, and the part about responding quickly and directly, and has done a terrific job sans social media. He was also largely talking of employee communications.
But as the critics would put it, engaging your different constituents, be they internal or external, is all about conversations not just communications.
None of this is to imply that Motorola execs do not blog. Padmasree Warrior, Motorola's executive vice president and chief technology officer, has a wonderful blog called Bits At The Edge. She writes in a style that belies her IT side, with the kind of openness that we sometimes long for in corporate communications. In one post earlier this year titled Mea Culpa Warrior refers to a Dilbert strip about embarrassing blogs.:
I know why I feel blue. It is unadulterated guilt! My blog! I have shamelessly neglected it for almost a month.
Now God is messaging me through Dilbert...
Mea Culpa? Seems like they've got straight talk in their DNA, with or without blogs.
No wonder Stu Reed --and Motorola-- got an A today in New Orleans.