Speaking with one voice.

You’re at the board table. After plenty of back-and-forth, a course of action is decided. Not everyone agreed, but it’s done. The decision is added to the minutes. On to the next item.

Two days later, you’re walking down the hall and someone asks you what was decided. You start rambling about perspectives… considerations… all the time you’re thinking: ‘What’s the best approach here?’ ‘Is a memo going out?’ ‘Did we agree to be talking about this yet?’

You are suffering from Comm x Comm – Communication by Committee.

Some of the symptoms:

  • Important information gets buried in minutes (sometimes intentionally);
  • News circulates in dribs and drabs with 10 different interpretations;
  • People comb through those minutes looking for some clarity, insight, or context;
  • Committee members who were voted down keep advancing their agenda in the void;
  • You get trapped in the hall, stammering.

There’s a better way – it’s free – and it’s not that hard.

Take our committee communication template – you don’t need to give us your email or anything – adapt it to fit your organization, and add it to your agenda after every major item.

Start by asking the group:

‘Is this item ready to be communicated?’

If the answer is no, get agreement about that from everyone around the table.

If the answer is yes, talk through the form about who, when, where and how the communication will go out.

Then answer the two big questions:

‘What do we really want you to know?’ (Awareness) & ‘What do we want you to do?’ (Action)

Assign the communication development to someone. Decide who’s going to approve it. Decide who’s going to deliver it, and move on to the next item.

Now, if you’re cornered after the meeting, you can choose your right answer:

  • Keep the topic completely confidential.
  • Say that it’s still at the board table.
  • Ad-lib using the answers to the big two questions.
  • Tell people when / how the full communication is coming out.

Governance communication is a big part of your brand and your culture. Credibility begins at the top.

We are here if you want to talk more about this, and other brand-related dilemmas.