Discovery is the part of Tribe’s process that provides the insight needed to develop the communications strategies that can affect changes in behavior. The gap between leadership’s goals and the current reality is where we find the strategy for our communications. So we need to understand both the goals and the current reality.
Stakeholder conversations set the tone for the initiative
The discovery process gets rolling in earnest when we begin stakeholder conversations. A stakeholder could be any leader or influencer who has responsibility for a project. A stakeholder might also be a leader whose team the project might impact. The purpose of the conversations is to understand the goals and direction supporting whatever initiative we’re about to dive into. Ultimately, we’re trying to understand how this project is going to make it easier for leaders and teams to get their jobs done.
Focus Groups help us see where things stand
The stakeholder conversations inform our approach to focus groups. Once we know what leadership is trying to achieve, we use focus groups to understand where things actually stand with employees. What is the current mindset around the initiative? How aligned – or unaligned – are employees with the goals? How far will we need to move the needle with communications for the project to succeed?
Diversity of opinions improve the work
The choice of who is included (or not included) in stakeholder conversations can have a significant impact on the direction of the project. Different leaders have different responsibilities and agendas.
To keep things from getting messy, the natural reaction is to limit the conversation to a smaller project team until strategies are fleshed out and we have near-finished work to show. However, limiting the scope of these initial conversations can deprive us of important points of view that might help us understand the impact of our communications.
Brand marketing stakeholders can help us understand how our communications can support the brand promise. Sales stakeholders can help us understand what employees are hearing from customers. Operations and manufacturing stakeholders can help us understand the physical reality of front-line and non-desk workers and how our communications might be perceived and received.
Including a diverse group of leaders helps us quickly understand perspectives and potential biases that might affect the direction of the project. And while we’re focused on what that stakeholder can contribute to the conversation, we’re also trying to to uncover potential roadblocks or landmines.
Putting all of these conversations together allows us to connect the dots on how communications can move a company forward. It’s the key to developing a winning strategy.
Need help building understanding the gap between your company’s goals and the existing reality? Tribe can help.