Imagine the following situation that I had to deal with a little while ago: A company has a well-functioning safety and health department. Due to company acquisitions, the department’s scope of work changes. In the past, the idea was to check standards and to incorporate future new regulations in time. But now the departments of the company that has been acquired have to be brought up to the high standard of the acquiring company. This task brought forward the question of whether a new departmental strategy would make sense: from policeman to consultant.
The idea was to pro-actively assist the internal customers with words and deeds, i.e. not only to appear once regulations and standards had been violated. The first step was to mutually analyse the required communication chains. Who would have to talk with whom about what and when? The analysis showed that such a chain of questions would change the contact persons involved in the communication. The communication would then no longer have to take place between engineers and other experts but between the heads of marketing and sales as well as top executives.
The fact is: Due to the different topics and fields of activity, the communication in this group is completely different from the communication in groups with rather technically oriented people. Therefore, the topics in the areas of safety and health also had to be addressed in a different way. So, who would take on that task? There was no talent in the department at the time that would be able to fill the role. That is why the new strategy was put on hold until colleagues with the right skills were found for the team. The advantage of this approach is obvious: A good strategy did not go up in smoke due to bad implementation through a lack of proper skills. And the time and effort saved could be used to equip the team with the missing skills. Here too: A true win-win situation!
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