Welcome to the August edition of Leading Edge.
This month we’re thinking about developing effective communication from a sales and marketing lens. In modern leadership theory and corporate philosophies, communication is central to an efficient, healthy and thriving work environment. As managers and leaders, we’re encouraged to communicate with clarity, transparency and sensitivity to get the best out of our staff and the most out of our time. While these principles are most often considered an internal workplace ideal, they should also inform the way with which your business engages with consumers. Strategically communicating to customers and clients in a way that is straightforward, honest and mindful builds a trustworthy company image, strengthens long-term relationships with existing customers and enables future business growth.
In the age of social media, big data and mass digitisation, consumers are demanding a new breed of relationship with the businesses they engage with, one that is radically transparent, authentic and interactive. With concerns about privacy and ethics permeating the modern consumer consciousness, managers and leaders need to be hyperaware of how they are representing their organisation through marketing and sales. Key questions that should be asked when assessing the effectiveness of our business communications include: is it clear to customers what I am offering? Am I communicating all the necessary information in the simplest way? Is there adequate support to help my customers buy and use my product? Are there systems set up to manage and action customer feedback? Am I overwhelming my customer with communications? Am I diversifying the channels through which I am contacting my customer?
Indeed, the marketing, sales and communications in the business space has evolved exponentially in the past 20 years. The professional knowledge and expertise many of us gained through education and experience can start to feel outdated and irrelevant. It is for this reason that continuing to support the development of managers and leaders to update this professional knowledge is the central piece of our philosophy here at the Institute. Communicating effectively with customers is central to current business strategies. So, having a professional understanding of marketing and sales skills is essential to leading an organisation in 2019. However, to enrol in a marketing or sales specific course would make very little sense if we only need the high-level knowledge – enough to understand and improve, not become an expert. Good leaders know when they need the support of experts, advisors and consultants who can design solutions for our specific challenges.
For many professionals starting out in their careers, the Institute encourages them to join our complimentary 4-month mentoring program where they’ll be paired with an experienced leader who can mentor their professional development. On the other side of this relationship, the Mentors are not only gaining fulfilment from the experience of coaching another professional, but also gain exposure to the fresh new perspectives of technical specialists and the next generation. As a business leader, it is a professional responsibility to continue developing knowledge and skills to innovate, and the mentoring relationship is perfect to gain insights into other businesses’ and leaders’ communication styles. As professionals at the forefront of executing and implementing sales and communication strategies, a Mentee is an excellent source of technical expertise in these fields. By actively listening, enquiring and collaborating with Mentees, Mentors can learn practical skills and update their existing knowledge on communicating to customers effectively in the digital and social media age. If you’re interested in becoming a Mentor in our next Mentoring program cohort, you can find out more on our website or enquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A crucial aspect of communicating effectively is asking for and acting on feedback. This chance for customers to tell you how you can improve is vital to facilitating a sense of the customer’s belonging in your community, enhancing their trust in your brand and informing your business on how best to communicate to your customer in the future. This is why the Institute is conducting a Member-wide readership survey to understand your thoughts about your magazine, Leadership Matters. For decades, our magazine has been celebrated as Australia’s leading quarterly management and leadership publication providing the country’s professionals with relevant, thought-provoking and cutting-edge insights. As a feature of your Membership, you receive a subscription to the magazine for free. With the Institute and industry having evolved over the decades, we wanted to reach out to our Membership to hear your feedback: what do you like and dislike? How can we improve the magazine? Which topics and articles do you enjoy? Would you like to see more content more often? Do you want to continue to receive the magazine via mail, or do you prefer to read online? We want to continue to provide you with timely, useful articles – so have your say about the future of Leadership Matters in our online survey.
Commitment to continuous leadership development – including staying ahead of current communications strategies for your business – is the Institute’s raison d’être and the way in which we have created better managers and leaders for a better society for more than 75 years. We are incredibly proud of the managers and leaders that form our passionate Membership base and who continue to engage with our development opportunities – to us, you represent the pinnacle of impactful and inspirational leadership. As we reach the final week of Membership renewals, I’d like to personally acknowledge all the professionals who have opted into another year of leadership growth at the Institute. I can’t wait to see where you’ll go with us in the next few months.
Finally, I’m excited to announce that IML ANZ will be moving offices in Sydney and Melbourne. With the Membership growing every year, larger events, increasing programs and more engagement opportunities, we’ve decided to upgrade our spaces there so Members have better event venues, more convenient lounges and better experiences with the Institute. We will be moving in early October and an official notice will be sent to Members in NSW and VIC.
In Sydney, the new address will be:
Suite 1.02, Level 1
50 Carrington Street
Sydney NSW 2000
In Melbourne, the new address will be:
Suite 1101, Level 11
45 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Once we’ve moved and set up our new space, we’ll invite you to come see your new home for leadership development.
I wish you the best of luck with your next leadership opportunity. Until next month!
Ann Messenger FIML
Chair of the Board