Interview: IC Space marks ‘new chapter for internal comms’

IC Space marks 'a new chapter for internal comms'

March 5, 2014

Internal comms is set for a whole new chapter with the arrival of the IC Space, according to the man spearheading the UK government’s fresh approach to IC.

Russell Grossman, Director of Communications, Department for Business, Innovation and Skill, has been tasked with improving internal comms excellence, providing a blueprint to help organisations inspire their workforce.

The result? The IC Space – an online open-to-all internal communications toolkit.

The site – which is currently in beta form – is part of a six-strand approach to boost IC excellence.

Russell told Headlines: “We have the opportunity to turn a new chapter for internal communications, not just within the civil service, but as a practice in its own right.

“If we don’t make internal communications an exemplar for the UK and possibly beyond then that would have been an opportunity forgone.”

The IC Space was conceived from a government-wide review in 2011. Staged across all departments, the review revealed that communication was tactically strong but strategically weak, leading to the need for reforms.

Fifteen practitioners, including Victoria Ford, Head of Communications at the DVLA, worked on producing the IC Space project.

As part of the IC Excellence project three reference groups – heads of internal communications in government, communications in the public service, and internal communicators from the likes of Serco, NHS Trust and HSBC – tested the theory and proposition of the IC Space.

An organisation looking to improve their own IC strategy or start on the pathway to employee engagement no longer needs to peer through the window; the IC Space is an open door inviting them to look around and take ideas.

The IC Space could have stayed internal but the restrictions on government IT systems would have prevented the use of several multimedia devices.

Ultimately the final product would have suffered. As a result, the decision to make the resource open to the public means the whole of the UK’s IC community can benefit.

“The IC Space reflects a lot of the tools and tips that can be applied across the board, not just in internal communications. The other audiences I think will use it in time are managers, particularly line managers,” Russell added.

“Internal communications is a rising star because the relationship between an engaged workforce and productivity and competitiveness as an organisation is better understood.

“If you inspire people – particularly through managers – it will endure for weeks, month and even years.”

Visit the IC Space beta site here…