In our ongoing effort to share some of our lessons learned over the years, we thought that it would be interesting to ask some of our closest partners for their insight on topics that are most relevant to our readers. Rob O’Sullivan, Executive Producer, Director, and Founder of Main Gate Productions, supports our client work by providing end-to-end video production services to support large-scale change efforts and to support training and development initiatives.
Chris Cancialosi: How do folks in the field leverage video production services to enhance their communications efforts while managing tight budgets?
Rob O’Sullivan: When I first took over the Advanced Services group at Comcast, I was full of excitement and ideas. A five-year veteran of an organization that had gone through numerous mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring, I was ready to execute the vision of our corporate leadership and transform the way Comcast developed, implemented, and supported new products. It didn’t take long to understand that immediate change was no easy task.
Being a part of an organization of almost 100,000 employees, and having responsibility for implementing standards across 20% of that population, made the need for quick and effective communications through each tier of the organization critical to our success. The Comcast executive team did a great job in communicating key business objectives to the employee base on a quarterly basis through corporate broadcast events, but once that hour was over, the effect of those communications would often become fragmented. Email became the primary communication tool, and with most people receiving over a hundred emails per meeting-filled day, it wasn’t surprising to hear someone say, “I didn’t get to that email.”
Email isn’t the only way to facilitate internal communications, and it’s certainly not the most effective. Unfortunately, it seems to have become the norm. Organizations must leverage other media to reach their employee base real-time.
Effective change management execution is about storytelling. To capitalize on the most impactful aspects of the change narrative, the use of video to communicate the key points of that story has become a necessity. Video evokes emotion and provides real-world examples that written communications just can’t accomplish. Video communications through web and mobile platforms afford management teams the unique opportunity to communicate important messages in real-time. In today’s busy work environment, you can only expect short windows of attention. Video allows you to develop 30-60 second snapshots that will get a message out, tell a quick story, or provide a key update. It also provides a much more dynamic and emotive synopsis of a large change initiative that can be archived and viewed for years to come.
To effectively break down the communications walls, there are a few things organizations can adopt to quickly see an impact.
- Use mobile video: Smartphones, tablets, and mobile computing are modern realities of business communications, and time is becoming more precious. The ability to reach your employees where they are – on the train, waiting for a meeting to start, at their desks, or on the move – maximizing those precious seconds in a way that has the greatest impact is the challenge. Video snippets of executive sound bites, examples of values in action in the workplace, communication of business goals and priorities, and involving front line employees executing priorities and initiatives through the use of video is a tangible, compelling communication strategy that can be viewed anytime, anywhere.
- Rapid competitive response: The competitive landscape changes daily. Organizations need to be able to quickly react and communicate in order to stay ahead of the competition. The ability to quickly promote new initiatives, showcase new products, or strengthen confidence can be made that much more effective by leveraging video for internal and external communications.
- Cut costs while increasing reach: With corporate purse strings tightening, the ability to fly employees to a central location for training or meetings is becoming cost prohibitive. However, the ability to stream a video of an executive meeting, sales conference, or other event and archive that footage for reference has never been easier. These days everyone in your organization can participate in a conference real time, then quickly return, respond, and enact the corporate strategy.
Business is not going to slow down, and the need for effective communication vehicles will only increase. Now is the time to adopt video into your messaging strategy.
Culture Change is a Complex Process
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Chris effectively combines his operational field experience with his knowledge of organizational psychology to provide unique and practical solutions to today’s ever changing business landscape.