Recently, I endured 10 straight days of business travel. But all for the right reasons. I spent some time in London with our team for the Melcrum Digital Communications Summit and then in Dallas for our first Global Sales Conference as part of RMG Networks. And out of that travel and two separate speakers, this became clear to me.
Communicators need to become clock changers.
John Stepper (@johnstepper) from Deutsche Bank kicked off the Melcrum event with a powerful message. Communicators need to get off the sidelines. They are sitting around waiting for the the news so that they can send it. But instead, they should be out finding the stories. They shouldn’t be waiting around for change; they should be advocates and catalysts for change.
Then at our RMG Networks conference, author Jeffrey Hayzlett (@jeffreyhayzlett) spoke to our company. Jeffrey brought a ridiculous amount of energy to the event and shared a ton of information. But what stuck with me was his story about “clock changers.” When he was CMO at Kodak, he once changed the clock in the room to where it was 15 minutes ahead. Week after week, people attending his meetings complained about the clock. And week after week, nothing changed.
Until one day one of his employees got up on a chair and simply changed the clock. They all knew the clock was wrong but nobody took the initiative to fix it. One employee did.
Corporate communicators need to become clock changers. Period. I don’t care if you are in public relations, branding or employee communications. When you see simple things that are wrong in your organization, fix them. It might not be as simple as grabbing a chair and changing a clock, but it can be just as powerful.
And if anything, it shows to your company that you are more than “just a communicator.” You are a business person. You are a problem solver. You aren’t on the sidelines. You are in the game. You are making changes the business needs.
So. . . which clock are you going to change today?
photo credit: Ian Sane