Gabazira's blog

The Effectiveness-Lab

Maximising your people investment – communicating with impact (1)

We have discussed enough, we believe, about the Leadership, Strategy, and Design OV’s. We have shown how the interconnectedness of the three OV’s is a prerequisite for creating signature value at organisations.

This state of OV’s being connected with one another means that no single OV can on its own sustain value creation at an organisation. For example, every organisation worth its name requires a robust strategy to succeed; a robust strategy, in turn, requires a visionary and charismatic leader to oversee its implementation; and both the leader and strategy require an appropriate organisational structure (design) to operationalise their grande ideas.  Indeed, various combinations of the OV troika are needed, in different business environments, to sustain viability.

Communicating with impact?

However, even these three OV’s on their own won’t get organisations stellar value creation.  Leadership, Strategy, and Design without the People OV is an equally flawed combination.  Even more worrying for those at the helm of organisations is that, while many consider it simple, getting the best out of people is the most challenging OV management task.

Board members will tell the world that they can hire a super leader as long as they have the right brand and money to offer a super salary and benefits package. After all, they will add, the world is littered with recruiters that will get you the best leadership pedigree in the world. The CEO will also tell the world that as long as they can access funds to hire MBA consultants specialising in strategy making and organisational design work, companies can get excellent multi-year strategies and the accompanying organisational architecture. Money and brand power seem to bring all things that organisations require to create signature value

But what about people? Well, a CEO could again take the simplistic view that that like the case is for the three OV’s above, classic organisations can attract the right people if they offer the right pay and benefits package.  All it requires is to give the recruiters or HR unit, the skills necessary for a specific job, sit back and wait for human bodies to fill vacant positions. Is it that simple? Not really

While leadership, strategy, and design can be bought off the shelf and put to use immediately, people conditioning needs something more than such a minimalist and textbook approach.

To get staff to a state of mind that creates signature value for the organisation is a journey that is littered with all kinds of pitfalls.  It takes more than hiring the best skills on the market.  It requires certain deliberate action – it’s akin to a powdered drug compound that needs mixing with water to transform it from powder to liquid form, ready for administration to a sick patient.

When people join a new company, they are taken on a journey to understand the brand.  Once they have reached an acceptable level of brand understanding, their brain goes into the processing and judgement mode. They start to assign weight to the brand, based on who they are, their values and beliefs, and what they may have seen before joining the company.  Brand perceptions are formed at this stage.

There is no fixed brand perception period, and employees can go through multiple cycles of brand perception formation, during their time at an organisation.  It’s the latter process, perhaps because of its invisibility, that leaders at companies don’t have on their radar.  Clearly, leaders miss managing the obvious, and to take their organisations a notch-up on the classic organisation scale

Certain OD. variables need to be manipulated by leaders, to get the best out of the people that work for them. It’s surprising how many leaders just don’t understand this people OD. dynamic or even, completely disregard it.

It’s cynicism of the highest order to disregard creating safe-spaces and environments for staff Time, Love, & Care (TLC) operationalisation. CEO’s settle for the average and neglect the fact that investing, complicated as it may appear, in the business of managing people well, brings the feel-good factor to companies.  The latter, in the long-run, creates signature value for the firm. The RoI is too high to disregard. A no-brainer you would assume, but it’s not always seen that way

We will start to explore, in this People OV sub-series, the variables that can get firms the best out of its people, and ultimately, the rest of the OV’s.

OD people variables that drive T.L.C at companies – communicating with impact:

Organizations that are and will continue to be considered outstanding in their fields of business have to give T.L.C to employees. Specific variables need to be present for organisations to be seen to have T.L.C for people that work for them

Communicating with impact at organisations is according to the Effectiveness lab the foundation for employee T.L.C. Communicating with impact requires purposeful, rational, and careful thought processes. It’s also true that it’s not natural to many of us.

Communicating with impact is a two-way process, in which there is an exchange of thoughts, opinions, information by speech, writing, and symbolism towards a mutually agreed outcome. Communicating with impact is mutual messaging, non-manipulative influencing of thought process, persuasion, that is filled with adequately defined social boundaries.

It ought to be noted that a lot comes before the actual act of communication, be it oral or written. What makes impactful communication more complicated to achieve and sustain, is that the pre-communication processing is mostly invisible and takes place inside our brains.

For example, good communicators have to do specific homework before they communicate with others: i.e. take time to understand the party they want to interact with, what makes them feel good, their values, innate ability, what they can contribute to the whole, etc.

This makes impactful communication a complicated art of getting inside the brains of individuals and teams that we want to communicate with. It’s natural for managers to front their perspectives before and during communication, forgetting that communicating impactfully is a two-way process.

Communication that is not impactful affects staff perception of the brand and has a knock-on effect on the other three OV’s – leadership, strategy, and organisational design.

At the bionic entity, it’s people that make leaders, strategy and design successful.

What is the cost of not communicating with impact? How do we fix it?

See you next week








3 responses to “Maximising your people investment – communicating with impact (1)”

  1. […] the people OV sub-series have delved into matters people. Time, Love, and Care (T.L.C) for staff, maximising people investment, herding employees to maximise value and managing difficult employees have all provided perspective […]


  2. What is the role of Brand perceptions and the staff who join the company, resign in two weeks and go back to his/her previous employer.


    1. Well – in that case, a disconnect would have happened earlier than usual – pls read the blog next week as it touches this matter

      Although- in this case, it may simply be a jumpy staff who wasn’t committed from the word go


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About Me

Apollo B. Gabazira is an Ugandan OD. junkie fascinated by matters that render organisations/individuals effective or not. He blogs on effective leadership and management. He is a devoted green-farmer and breeds the Ayrshire cow at Nakabugu, Luuka district, Uganda. Apollo is quite effective at what he chooses to do.


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