Several years ago, as the marketing assistant for a scientific equipment manufacturer, I was appointed by the marketing manager to oversee the introduction and implementation of a line of plumbing fixtures into our existing product line. Early in the process, I failed to recognize, and was not informed of the importance of meeting with the estimating and sales staffs to give them details about the new product and discuss with them all new and impending developments. Instead, I sent out dozens of memos giving directives on related issues without asking for input. As a result, I alienated the very people who would be promoting these fixtures in the field. Because these two constituencies worked very closely, they each fed off the other's resentment and dissatisfaction. Morale plummetted. Time, money and resources were wasted because I had to rework a number of processes to everyone’s satisfaction. I had to recruit extra staff and lost valuable time “mending fences.” All of this could have been avoided had I recognized my constituencies, primarily the estimating and sales staffs, and analyzed what it would take for them to support my efforts. The following link is an article from Business Day that discusses the importance of effective internal communications.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
While managers usually think strategically about their businesses, they tend to overlook the importance of strategically communicating with their constituencies. In order to correct this, they must know who their constituencies are, the attitudes of constituencies toward the organization and what a particular constituency knows about the topic on which management wishes to communicate. The case study in Chapter 2 outlining an internal communication problem within the Carson Container Company is a prime example of how time, human resources and money can be wasted if a company fails to recognize and analyze their constituency.