106 returns to Duck & Waffle for the infamous IC Leaders Breakfast

24 April 2024

Another bright and beautiful day in London to return to the Duck and Waffle for our latest IC Leaders Breakfast. A collection of internal comms professionals from a range of sectors rode the elevator up to the 40th floor to discuss tips and tricks in modern communications.

With the Gherkin sparkling behind us and our mugs full of strong coffee, it was time to get down to business. 106 Founder Henry got things started raising the challenge of finding and maintaining purpose at companies. Finding the happy medium between unremarked upon values and overly complicated pillars of an organisation can be tricky, especially when it comes to communicating concisely.

Luckily, we had Murray Phair of M&G in attendance who has ample experience in launching and embedding values. After checking which stage everyone at the table was at with their purpose building, he took us through his own experience in internal communications. He emphasised how important it was that employees can phrase the company values in their own words and that strategic survey questions revealed the different interpretations that can arise if communications are consistent. In this way, Murray defined engagement as connecting the dots between individual contribution and the bigger picture a company holds.

The value of data was another crucial aspect that we came onto. Any debates about employee alignment can be brought down to brass tacks and kept values oriented in reality. Alongside that, it showed the work that the comms team was carrying out as well as building the precise wording of these ideas with step-by-step feedback from the workforce. Short, memorable, and applicable statements were what resonated most.

If comms are more scattered, it leaves room for differing opinions on how employees should conduct themselves. The day-to-day and the overall mission need careful alignment otherwise key motivators fall by the wayside. One particularly salient point was relating stakeholder decision-making to the values and purpose of the organisation; in other words, concretely relating strategy and vision.

This discussion grew into considering how behaviours can have meaningful impact on understanding purpose. This ranged from schemes that gave people the opportunity to rise up in the company, regular cadence of comms through a variety of mediums, and building networks of people at all levels that catalysed focussed changed and value-based behaviours to celebrate.

The common thread in everything we talked about was not just how much business acumen can be bolstered by impactful comms but also how and why we uphold work standards at all levels. Company purposes are only as good as how they’re carried out, and senior leaders should be just as mindful of this as everyone else.

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