Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Blogging the Sterling :: An 8th category?

As if the Baldrige didn’t have enough “stuff” in it, the Sterling folks have decided to add another category: Communications.

Like we need another category. Like a hole in the head.

Okay, this is actually a thought exercise, but I'll play along.

This is from one of the breakout sessions: Communication: Sterling Category 8 by Robert Elliott. Most of the session was about communication, in general.

Communication, a process that uses verbal or visual symbols, signs, or behaviors to create shared comprehension. Key words: process; symbols or signs; shared comprehension.

Getting the right message to the right people at the right time (to create shared comprehension).

Interesting that the presented mental model of communications includes feedback. Without feedback from the receiver to the sender, we’re unsure if the message has been received. An aside: A blog without comments, is only one-way communications; it is an open cycle. Comments close the cycle of communications. Sitting down with a reader also closes the cycle of communication.

Dr. Elliott suggests that all communication is driven by change and the key change is a desire to improve communication. If, when searching for a root cause, you determine that the performance gap is ineffective communication, then need to communicate, to change how people feel, what people think and know, what people do.

Easy and cheap is usually the way we try to send messages. In truth need to segment the audience so that they receive the best style of communication for their needs.

Okay, so what's with the new category?

8.1 Communication Development
How do you develop your messages and measure their effectiveness.
Describe HOW your organization develops messages so that they reach key audiences, using appropriate media, and HOW the messages themselves are developed. Describe HOW your organization measures the effectiveness of communications.

8.2 Communication Management
Describe HOW your organization addresses key organizational messages of importance, and HOW effective communication is supported throughout the organization.
What'ya think?

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