I view communication as the everyday currency of business; it’s how we get things done. Our success is ultimately determined by interactions with employees, customers, communities, suppliers, shareholders, regulators, and other stakeholders. And while most organizations and executives have a mission statement, and many articulate a set of core values—for how they conduct their business or treat each other and their customers—most overlook standards, goals, or guidelines for communicating. Communication is actually the channel for executing a company’s mission, its values, and its expectations for excellence, accountability y, productivity and efficiency. How else could these be realized?
A recent study in the Journal of Marketing Communications finds a causal link between communication effectiveness and economic performance. “Companies that align communication with the corporate mission and strategy score significantly better not only on ‘soft’ measures such as image and awareness but also on ‘hard’ economic measures, especially on relative market success in the industry.” In sum, the more effective a company is at communicating—internally and externally—the greater the company’s general performance. Perhaps most telling, the Journal found that companies whose executives support improving communication, and recognize its economic value, performed better than companies without supportive leadership.
Similarly, Cheryl Snapp Conner, @CherylSnapp, recently wrote in Forbes about a new study that finds a connection between a CEO’s presentation skills and the pricing of an IPO. Executives that have a confident and commanding presence actually increase the value of their companies’ IPOs.
A lot of people, including Cheryl Connor, found this pretty amazing – myself included. But it confirmed for me what I have been saying for a long time: that a focus on communication adds value to a company. And I do not mean just some amorphous value of customer and employee goodwill, but actual performance value. Like these two studies show, companies and executives that value and are skilled at communication perform better financially.
[Excerpted in part from Jock Talk: 5 Communication Principles for Leaders as Exemplified by Legends of the Sports World, www.jocktalkbook.com]