For the first time in my life, I am fully engaged in the presidential race. It’s not that I particularly support a candidate or find the debates anything new. What I do find intriguing is the strategy behind the strategy. More specifically, I’ll call it the art of communication. Every opportunity to communicate and connect with voters is calculated, scrutinized, thought-out and meticulously planned.
HR, traditionally not the best communicators within an organization, can learn a lot from today’s political race. Here are a few…
1. Focus on a singular theme. For Barack Obama, the theme is change. Its on every sign, in every speech, and discussed in every interview. The HR theme should be a statement for the organization (and indirectly for HR). For HR, the theme should be closely aligned to the defining culture of the organization. Its OK to have multiple goals and initiatives but they should all role up into a single theme. Keep it simple and articulate it consistently.
2. Stay on message. Every opportunity you have to present or speak to executives, business partners, or employees should be focused on communicating your message. Chose your words carefully and don’t be afraid to continuously repeat the key messages.
3. Don’t be afraid of conflict. Conflict is often natural when change is required. Be confidence around the strategy set in place and stand by your team when conflict arises.
4. Momentum is key. As we’ve seen with the early primary results, momentum can be a huge element to success. Build off early wins and don’t let your foot off the gas petal. Sometimes mistakes are made but they should never be detrimental. Momentum should leverage successes and failures.
5. Don’t give up. Today’s political campaign is relentless. 24/7. We have seen many times in the race where one candidate was written for dead yet to come back a week later. Failure will happen but must always be viewed as temporary. Persistence is key.