Sharing the Story with Kathryn Dafos
The Resilient Leadership Program went into its 7th week with a focus on storytelling. Let's communicate about communication!
The Resilient Leadership Program is an initiative to support the leadership teams of our community-serving organizations through the COVID-19 pandemic. We feel fortunate to have had strategic-planning specialist Kathryn Dafos join us to talk organizational efficiency in external and internal communications. Kathryn's extensive experience supporting local leaders in the non-profit sector brought a unique wisdom and insight to the session content.
For many organizations, strategic communications get lost in the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day. In this sense, the manner in which we communicate internally with our organization and externally with our community can lose its relevancy and effectiveness over time. In the wake of a global pandemic, solid communication is more important than ever.
Where do you begin? Creating a unique and pragmatic communication plan starts at your organization's core mission and vision. One of our participants prompted the question: who would miss us if we were gone? The core sentiments of your organization encompass who you are, what you do, and why you do it. The impact of COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the way our organizations function internally and interact with the world. Check in with your roots and pay attention to your values.
What next? A "situational analysis" puts your organization in the current context. Whatever is going on in the world environmentally, socially, and politically informs your mission and allows you to develop services that are in alignment with your community's needs. Invite the newsroom into your staff meetings to spark discussion and discover opportunities for adaptation and growth. Who is your audience? What trends do you see? What are your competitors up to?...
And then... Your organization's communication audit involves an internal review of your strengths, and more importantly, weaknesses. Shortcomings are opportunities to improve. Fostering an organizational culture where team members feel confident giving and receiving feedback is a mainstay of an effective communication plan. Where do the gaps exist? Further, a secret tip from Kathryn: befriend your critic. Negative feedback is a valuable informational source. Invite the discussion!
Finally... tell the story. Create a message that is memorable, clear, active, and inspiring. Organizational storytelling takes place within the office, via voices in the community, your actions and events, on social media. Highlight what makes you special.
We extend our gratitude to Kathryn Dafos for this inspiring learning session, and to our signature sponsor Coast Capital Savings and the support from the City of Victoria in making the Resilient Leadership Program a reality.
Learn more about the program by clicking here.
Find out more about Kathryn and her work at her website, www.kathryndafos.ca.