Blog: What can internal comms learn from Sir David Brailsford?

What can internal comms learn from Sir David Brailsford?

September 10, 2014

Internal communications suffers in business and elsewhere because too many organisations too often see it as an expendable luxury.

It is at the end of the food chain, like training, and is often cut at the first sign of a downturn.

Now the IC industry hasn’t exactly helped itself along the way.

There is plenty of evidence to show how valuable employee engagement is – yet the message still has some way to go.

The industry hasn’t helped itself either on portraying internal communications as a simple process rather than as a somewhat sophisticated art that is combined with a sizeable chunk of science.

Headlines will do its best to help debunk this myth of simplicity by publishing this autumn a book by noted IC practitioner Anton Nebbe.

In the book he will show that there’s a great deal than is generally thought to making IC happen successfully – and approached in a thoughtful and tactical manner, it can produce great results.

While reading the proofs of Anton’s book I was struck by how applying the thoughts of Sir David Brailsford could help the practice of IC.

Sir David, described by some as the most influential man in British sport, is the architect of the huge success that UK cycling has enjoyed over the last 15 years.

But what can he bring to IC?

Lots, actually. He developed the system of marginal gains – breaking down cycling in to numerous segments and aiming to improve them all by at least 1%.

The overall result was a massive increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of UK cyclists and world domination of the sport.

Anton’s book reminds us that there are many segments to our profession – and we could utilise marginal gains theory to great benefit.

Improve everything a little and let’s see what happens.

But at the same time we have to ensure we get the message over that IC is simply essential. No more, no less.

Superficially cycling and internal communications make unlikely bedfellows.

But, actually, there’s something rather stimulating about IC learning from the work of Sir David.