APEXers are asking five questions about the year it’s been and what individuals are looking forward to in 2015. Up next…
1. What is the biggest surprise/change you’ve seen in your industry in the past year?
“I love a good surprise – especially when it relates to the field of work I’m in. I’d have to say that 2014 was about really sharpening the focus on communications.
Let’s put aside the internal/external debate for a second….what I’m most specifically referring to is a sharp focus on being consistent, on being simple, on being true…from the mouth of senior executives.
A good friend of mine is the President for a private health care company and his two priorities are his people and the customer service experience. People come before customer service! Why? Because he understands that how he interacts with them, how he treats them, how he makes himself available to them directly impacts the bottom line.
Internal communication is external communication. When people feel good, when they feel as though they are being spoken with (and with respect), they will incrementally do more.”
2. Who or what is a true disrupter or game changer in your opinion? Why?
“New technology. It makes it easier for us to connect with. But it’s also a distraction because we feel as though we have to jump on the bandwagon. New technology has to be approached with a fine balance – questions like “how will this work for us?” have to be asked. Let’s stay excited, but let’s ask the right questions.”
3. What app or technology do you rely on most day-to-day? Why?
“I would have to say my smartphone and my social media apps (Twitter, YouTube and Linkedin). Why? Because I instantly can connect with other like-minded communication professionals while also fuelling my creativity like nothing else.”
4. What don’t you want to see carried over in 2015?
“Plug and play communications. I’m allergic to it. Communication, be it with customers or team members, has to be tailored, has to work for current attitudes, perceptions, behaviours.
I recently coached a seasoned leader to completely dismantle an existing communication process. It was hard for her to let go of her current mode of communication operations. It was easy. It was routine. But, it stopped working because people were bored.
For 2015, we need to continue stepping back to truly HEAR what those around us need to know. And how.”
5. What are you most excited about for 2015?
“I just got back from Miami and had the incredible opportunity to meet and spend 5 minutes with Russell Simmons. What an incredible honour that was. As a result, I’ve re-read his book “Do You” and what I’m most excited about is helping others adopt his principles of “Doing you.”
I blog in my spare time with the intention to help leaders build better workplaces. My aim for 2015 is to help people sharpen their communication intentions. I want to see more trust and more respect in the workplace. I want to see more honesty, more pride, people longevity in the workplace. Ultimately a better customer experience because team members are excited to do more.
And it all boils down to how we interact with one another. It truly does. I’ve seen too many people shut down just because their leader failed to communicate with them.
Simple things, like publicly showcasing good work, or taking 5 minutes to call up a new team member to say welcome, will inspire people to incrementally do more. It really will. Because I’ve seen it happen.
2015 will be about building better workplaces. One connection at a time.”