Yesterday a group of project managers at STAGIS including myself held a meeting with my good friend and certainly also idol in life Hanne Feldthus, a strategic planner and former partner at Wibroe, Duckert og Partners. We spoke about corporate blogging and how many companies lack the ability of listening to what their customers and other kinds of users have to say about products and services. As Hanne noted, “if you imagine the companys yearly communcation report (rather than the financial report), how many companies would have positive figures on the listening-side? It seems that most companies are very good at pushing their messages into the market but they don’t hear much”.
But why would you, dear fellow CEOs, want to raise your listening-account and lower the express-myself-account? Well, first of all because you survive by being fit (yet another reason why evolution is just as interesting as innovation), by having the ability to change rather than by forcing your way through every obstacle and in order to fit yourself to the ever-changing world you need to know what is going on. Secondly, because people who have the ability of listening attract others. Relationships with customers doesn’t differ so much from the relationship to your wife, husband, best friend etc.
When was the last time you really listened? I don’t mean read a report from an analyst (I’m assuming you outsourced every possible analysis for someone else to take care of), I mean sat down with a customer or employee and listened. My claim is that if you really listen there’s lots and lots of interesting information and input for your next strategic move – and for your companys ability to be among the fittest!
Or put in other words: How is your Department for Corporate Listening doing?
How does the ear of your organization look?