27 Oct The purpose, the blank sheet of organizations
They say that the worst enemy of a writer is the blank sheet. What a paradox, one of the two basic elements that you need to write, is placed in front of you to ask you “come on, you have nothing to tell me?”. Almost as if daring him to release his first blow.
A situation similar to this one confronts organizations – in a generalist sense – when it comes to telling their audiences their purpose. “What do we tell people about us?” It is good to do before and answer another question: “What is our purpose?” It happens that organizations – private, public, of the third sector – are accustomed to define themselves by what they do (their commercial or helpful activity) and not by what they are (that is, their essence).
But first we must understand that communication does not do magic, but management. Once a teacher told me, paraphrasing Miguel de Unamuno in his phrase ‘what nature does not give, Salamanca (his university) does not lend it’, that “what a company or institution is not, communication does not solve it” . Brilliant comparison to express that the truth and the nature of an organization are the basis of their own communication.
The same happens in the scenario of a crisis. Although to enter this subject deeply would require one and more texts in which we could mention hundreds of cases, it is worth clarifying it. Of course the methods, the tools and especially the times are different, but the essence remains the essence. If the organization had “things clear” – as we Argentines say – from the beginning, the road will be less risky. But of course, by the time this arrives, we must be prepared, because the basis of good crisis management is (not so) paradoxically the previous work.
Communication is in the identity of the communities that we integrate, and human beings must be increasingly aware of the fundamental role it fulfills in our lives. Because every organization has its good cause to tell. The blank sheet is waiting.
By Justiniano Vila – Consulting Manager of La Machi