I am joined today by fellow self-espoused ‘culture geek’ and Internal communications expert, Carolyn Hudson, who brings her vast experience both in-house and as a senior consultant at Fortune 500 companies. It’s the moment of truth for internal comms because there has never been a more opportune time to prove your worth and grab a seat at the table. She explains that internal communications has (thankfully!) evolved from top-down, one-size-fits-all, lengthy corporate-speak pushed to the masses to messaging tied to core values, customized by audience and that inspires trust in leadership and confidence in the brand. Internal comms is now employee-centric (gasp!), which translates to customer-centric – because when we take care of our employees, they take care of our customers! Speaking of employees, we encourage ditching annual engagement surveys in favor of taking far more frequent pulses at all levels of the organization. There are AI-assisted platforms to help leaders identify themes to address…including in your internal comms. We also have a fun discussion about breathing new life into outdated, staid corporate values (BIG YAWN?) so that they actually serve as beacons for vision, motivation, and innovation (in fact, I had just revised the values for The LeaderShift Project to include what I think is an awesome new value of “Embrace abundance”). When updating your values, involve your employees and customers in the conversation and brainstorming, so they will truly represent what you stand for and how you want to treat customers.


Episode 57: The Moment of Truth for Internal Comms with Carolyn Hudson

Shani Magosky: Is your team not performing well? Is morale low and turnover high? Are you falling further behind the competition? I’m here to help. I’m your host, Shani, and this is The LeaderShift Show, where business strategy and culture finally meet and we make the long-awaited shift from rhetoric to results. I promise I’m not your typical boring leadership consultant and I will help you get your shift together. Let’s do this.

Hello, Leadershifters and welcome to another episode of The Leadership Show with yours truly, Shani. It is my pleasure today to introduce you to our guest, Carolyn Hudson. Say a quick hello and then I’m going to absolutely deluge you with accolades.

Carolyn Hudson: Thank you so much. Shani, this is great. Thank you. I am a long-time listener of your podcasts and watcher of your video series and just there’s so many synergies between what you do and what I do and so this is really a true pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.

Shani: It’s my pleasure. Leadershifters, Carolyn and I actually go way back to my New York 1.0 days in the ’90s and we’re both Florida girls and initially, we’re both raised in Florida and somehow ended up in the big bad city. More importantly and relevant for the podcast, we have a pretty similar background in transforming corporate cultures. We’ve come at it from different places but we really a lot of times end up working on the same types of engagements.

Just to give you a little bit of Carolyn’s CV, she was a senior leader in the global Change Management practice at Accenture Consulting for a long time. In general, she’s worked with, you name the Fortune 500 company, it’s a who’s who, let me just consult my list here, Exxon Mobil, Coca-Cola, Levi’s, Anheuser-Busch, J&J, UPS Delta, et cetera. working on culture transformation projects, M&A. When you’re combining companies into a single culture, there’s lots of work to be done. Her specialty in all these engagements is communication.

Today we’re going to focus specifically on internal communication and that’s for a couple of reasons. One, it’s obviously an area of expertise but also it’s very relevant today in the era of COVID. It feels like a lot of organizations are paying attention to their external communications. We support Black Lives Matter, we’re changing our hiring practices, et cetera, and telling the world about what they’re doing, and yet they’re ignoring some of the important things that they need to be doing internally, both around COVID and racial injustice and every other topic that is important for internal customers i.e., your employees.

With that background, folks, let’s get right into the questions because Carolyn and I have a lot of things that we want to discuss for your benefit today.

Carolyn: Great. Thank you, Shani, that’s awesome. Great intro, appreciate it.

Shani: Well, you’re the one who’s accomplished all those things. Carolyn is joining us from her apartment in Manhattan where she has recently finally come off of quarantine because New York is opening back up.

Carolyn: Coming back, yes coming back.

Shani: I am coming to you from my temporary living situation in Boulder, Colorado. Maybe you can see my little climbing wall behind us. The first question I want to ask you Carolyn is you’ve said something a few times and I want to drill down into it and have you explain what it means for communication experts, or even novices quite frankly, who are leaders and their communication is important. It’s the moment of truth for internal communications. Why do you say that?

Carolyn: Yes absolutely. I think it really is. I think internal communications is really having its day and I’m forever employee-centric, so everything I talk about today is going to be focused on employees. I think the best way to answer this is maybe thinking about communications then versus now and I think that even a few years ago, communications was seen as just another function. It was just another function in the company such as IT or HR.

I had a client actually say to me at one point, I was doing a team optimization session with she and her communications team and she said, “I just feel like a vendor,” and I thought wow, that’s not what internal communication should be. I really think it’s having its day. I think that internal communications should be and is and will be a strategic partner to the business. That’s one thing, have a seat at the table.

The other thing I think is so important right now during this crisis is that HR works closely with IT. IT works closely with public affairs. Public Affairs works closely with internal communications. I think that they need to work seamlessly and I think in the past, there might have been sort of a Hatfields & McCoys situation. [crosstalk]

Shani: Right. Hello, mixed messages.

Carolyn: Yes exactly and it’s like hard to get sort of that calendar or that road map of what our message is going to be and then getting everybody marching to the same beat. That’s why I think it’s having its day and I also think I’ve been so impressed with companies and CEOs sending out heartfelt messages to their employees. You look at somebody like Gary Burnison who’s the CEO of Korn Ferry, who’s writing a series of blogs that are extremely personal to his employees and his customers.

Then you’ve got somebody like Brian Chesky from Airbnb who is truly writing from the heart, and I think that that’s where we are right now, and transparency and authenticity with regard to communications is table stakes. That’s like a given whereas in the past, there was corporate speak coming down from leadership. Never was there– rarely was there a what’s in it for me for employees, or what do I need to do with this information. I think that we’re seeing that a lot more and more. It’s getting it’s just due I guess I would say.

Shani: What you’re saying is it’s okay to be personal and vulnerable, which is the antithesis of what they used to teach in “being a good leader school” as you know you need to keep your distance and don’t let anybody know anything about you personally. It’s not like we’re now encouraging leaders to share their deepest darkest most intimate secrets, but we are saying show your humanity.

This is a time where we’re all feeling exposed, there is so much change and uncertainty and that brings out fear and people want to feel like there’s a community including their leaders, not except for their leaders.

Carolyn: Absolutely. I think that you know leaders, they’re not necessarily born orators, they’re not necessarily journalism majors. That that that keeps me in a job, by the way so that’s that. I do think that um another thing that I’ve seen which is fantastic is that in the past, there have been communications written by leaders that are sort of gobbly googly about business plans, and da, da, da, and it just drones on and it’s just lengthy and nobody reads that. I think now it’s about simplicity of message and I think now it’s about you know getting the–

It’s like just the facts right away. What do I as an employee, what’s in it for me, what are you asking of me, and then further, how do I provide feedback to you? That’s a whole other component you’ve got to give especially now employees to have an outlet to give feedback about how they’re thinking and feeling these days.

Shani: Absolutely. You’ve got there so many things that I want to say the things you just said but let me see if I can start with one of them and remember the other. I just learned about an app that I’m super excited about that uses artificial intelligence to be constantly soliciting feedback from employees. It’s anonymous and the artificial intelligence takes all of the data that it gets from asking a few simple questions to employees regularly across the organization and takes the themes and presents them to management so that they can respond to them or pivot from them or clear up any misconceptions.

It also helps identify top performers who are at risk of leaving so that that organization can be proactive about retaining them instead of making last-ditch efforts after they’ve already accepted another job offer. That’s one thing just of interest.

Carolyn: Just one thing, I just want to respond to that rel quick. I think that the technology that you’re talking about I think is super important right now. I think that in the past, it’s been all about that employee satisfaction survey. It’s that annual employee satisfaction survey, we got to get those results. I think that now, what we’re pivoting to as you were saying is posting more often, getting better feedback. Then the thing about it is though with feedback it’s only as good as if you act upon it. If you’re asking employees questions about how they’re thinking and feeling and you’re condensing and codifying that information, you need to let them know what you’re doing with it or about it. That’s the key.

Shani: Absolutely. The piece about pulsing it more regularly is so key because when we when companies do engagement surveys once a year, that’s a moment in time, and if someone’s just come off a bad day or a negative interaction, that can color their results, and then it gives a picture of an entire year that is inaccurate. You get enough people who are off their game the day they answer the engagement survey and the results are frankly bullshit. I love the idea of taking the pulse literally because your pulse today is going to be different than your pulse tomorrow after you’ve just run 10k. [chuckles]

Carolyn: Exactly. I think that also to build on that is pulsing every level of the organization. From that hourly worker on the manufacturing line all the way up to corporate, to leaders, to managers, you’ve got to get a full picture. Anyway, I’m a huge believer in looking at all audiences and segmenting them.

Shani: Absolutely. Another thing that, actually I’m sort of backing up a little bit but it relates to what we’re just talking about, one of the first things you said is you’re employee-centric all the way. I can imagine that some people listening might say, “Oh, why are you employee-centric, we should be customer-centric.” I’m sure you have an answer to that and I would love to hear it because obviously, I have a point of view on that as well, but go ahead.

Carolyn: Yes, absolutely. I think, for me, employees are your greatest asset. These days employees are all, they all have megaphones, they can all either make or break your company. It’s about building that brand and building that advocacy and making fans out of employees. If employees are not happy or they’re not feeling communicated to or they’re not bought into the core values of the company or the brand, then I don’t feel like they can serve customers efficiently and extraordinarily. That’s why I say that I’m employee-centric because I really think it starts there.

I will say, it’s interesting. I worked on a number of mergers and acquisitions over the past few years, and when companies are sitting down at the table and talking about merging, they’re talking a lot about risk management, they’re talking a lot about the numbers.

Shani: Oh, yes. The synergies and where can we cut, where can we combine supply chain strains, blah, blah.

Carolyn: Exactly, you got it. It’s like the bankers sitting at the table talking about it, but now I think what I’m seeing with my clients and what we’ll see more of is assessing employees as an asset, as a non-financial asset. That’s just going to become part of that conversation.

Shani: Folks, just to wrap that up in a bow with a simple statement, if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers.

Carolyn: Perfect. Beautiful.

Shani: Change management is part and parcel not just of M&A as you were just talking about, but really everything in this frequently evolving fast-paced world that we live in. Just give us a quick sense of what you see companies doing well or where they’re making mistakes with their communication strategy within the context of change management.

Carolyn: Two things. One is change management really means managing change. It seems evident but really it’s about managing change.

Shani: Instead of letting change manage you.

Carolyn: There you go. I think that any company going through a transformation, whether that’s a change in leadership, whether that’s rolling out a new process or products, whether that’s creating new initiatives they need to roll out to the organization, I really think that these days if you look at a communications team, an internal comms team, you’ve got to have that change management experience as well.

I really think that gone are the days of just communications teams looking for great writers or a great digital strategist. I think now you’ve got to have that change management because that’s when communications really comes into its own and that’s where the glory is, is communication steps up and helps with those transformations.

I’ve gotten– it’s been interesting just in the past like literally the past I would say maybe two or three years, the buyer for change management services has historically been a chief communications officer or a chief HR officer, that’s who hires for a consultant services. Now it’s a CEO.

Shani: That’s great.

Carolyn: It’s great. The CEOs are now understanding that you actually have to manage change and I don’t want to– I do want to say that internal communications is not the panacea. It’s not going to solve all the ills of the world. It takes the communication team working in tandem seamlessly with the other functions of the organization and working as a team on transforming that company. Who owns transformation? Who owns change management? Everybody does.

Shani: Right. To your point, the c-suite can’t come up with a new strategy or a new go-to-market tactic that isn’t good and expect communications to put lipstick on the pig, right.

Carolyn: Yes, but that’s what they do. That’s the thing, they do. I think that sometimes and again it’s kind of that then and now. I think that they throw a strategy over the wall or an initiative over the wall and say, “Here it is. Build it they will come, hope they read about this.” It can’t be that way anymore. It has to be a situation where again like that CCO or that internal communications team has a seat at the table that they have an editorial calendar or a calendar of events for that company.

They have a narrative, they have key messages that they need to– In other words, it’s getting much more strategic, it’s not just throwing it over the wall and like, hey, send out a couple of emails about this. That’s not where we are.

Shani: Let’s follow that road back a little bit in terms of strategy and foundational and making sure that the communications team has good subject matter and thoughtful strategy to work with in the first place. You and I, we’re sort of like culture geeks and I guess we shouldn’t be afraid to admit that. We’ve sat many a night on one of our couches with a glass of wine talking about corporate values.

Carolyn: Yes we have, indeed yes.

Shani: Let’s share some of our thinking on that. Let’s just take an example situation where a company has had the same values for 80 years or 40 years or whatever the time frame is, and they’re either out of date, they no longer resonate, they’re phrased in a way that isn’t accessible and doesn’t really mean anything. If you were in an ideal world to be invited into, you as in comms folks, invited into the whiteboard space where you guys are going to revamp and recreate some new values, what process might you lead them through? What questions might you ask them?

Carolyn: I love this and yes, we are geeks about culture and core values and we have talked about this. I mean listen, creating core values for a company or a value proposition or a purpose statement is hard. That’s hard stuff. It’s not often created in a vacuum. It needs to be, in my opinion, very inclusive, so you’re including employees you’re doing focus groups, you’re coming up with who are we as a company, why did you join us, those are some great questions, who do we stand for, how do we want to interact with our customers.

I think that you know in the past few years, I’ve worked with many clients on developing core values. This is something where it can tend to get diluted in the process with regard to creating core values because it starts out with the employees, goes up the chain, gets to leadership, and they hem and haw about and that word’s not quite right. Things tend to get diluted. Such things as like collaboration, innovation, passion, care for our customers, customer-centric–

Shani: [yawns] Wake me up when you’re done.

Carolyn: Exactly, like customers-

Shani: [chuckles]

Carolyn: -service and all that. Then they spend all this money, launching these beautiful core values and creating all the swag and all the big launch, but it really doesn’t define what the company, who they are, and what they do.

I had a client recently who I just went through this with them was creating their core values. I was so proud of the client that one of their core values was courage. That was new for me, that the collaboration but courage, and then you have to think about how does that show up every day? What are the behaviors associated with courage? What does that look like? I was so thrilled that they thought of that.

Then, to your point, these days, I would sit down with a client, and I would really ask them, “Are your core values working for you? How do you know? Are you attracting the right talent? Is your narrative tethered to your core values? Is this an opportunity during this time of crisis, that we really take a hard look at ourselves and think about things such as diversity, inclusion, sustainability? If companies aren’t talking about that, or including that in their core values, they’re going to be left behind, they’re going to be like dinosaurs, they have to.”

Shani: Right. It’s funny that we’re talking about this because I just updated my values, and my favorite newest value is embraced abundance.

Carolyn: Yes, I love that.

Shani: As I fleshed it out, it started to just grow and grow and mean so many things. It means abundance in relationships, abundance in financial matters, abundance in the competitive landscape, there’s enough to go around, abundance in creativity and not settling for a mediocre idea, there’s more abundant ideas out there. As I started to make some notes about what embrace abundance means to me, is the leader of the LeaderShift Project, I had so much fun with it. I feel like as I onboard somebody new, I’m in the process of hiring somebody, I’m so excited to introduce the organization with that new value. [chuckles]

Carolyn: Yes, exactly. Shani, just you as a person, you embrace that as a person. That’s part of who you are, part of your life. I think that automatically, that will transfer to your company. You truly believe it, it’s your brand. They’re just words etched in stone, that’s who you are, that’s your brand. It’s inspirational and aspirational, which I think is beautiful. I love it.

Shani: Yes. Thank you. [chuckles]

Carolyn: It’s great. I would add something that I saw recently, a company, I looked at their core values and one of their values was, “Don’t be a jerk.” [chuckles]

Shani: I love that.

Carolyn: I was like, “Brilliant. Yes. That’s great.” They’re a little edgy and what have you, but I think that ilk I think needs to be really looked at.

Shani: Yes, it’s okay to be edgy. Just because you’re a Fortune 500 company doesn’t mean you have to be staid and boring. I get that there are certain standards to uphold but it doesn’t mean you have to be boring. Let’s imagine, there’s some CCOs listening to this, and they’re finding that the values that are have been landed on after this great effort to engage multiple constituencies and get all these ideas, are coming back to something bland and staid. What can the CCOs say or ask to make another effort to breathe some life into the values? [chuckles]

Carolyn: I love that, breathe some life into the values, that’s brilliant. That’s exactly what needs to happen. I guess the first question would be, how did you develop them? How did you create them? Was it an inclusive process? Did it come down from on high from leadership? How were they created? Are they working for you? Then you would look at a number of factors as far as everything from recruitment to retention to satisfaction.

Are they working for you and how do you know? Then I would say, are they aspirational, inspirational, or where you are right now? That’s a question that really companies need to– I would argue the point of being inspirational and aspirational for your core values. The other thing that I would talk about is that core values are only as good as the behaviors that are associated with them, right?

Shani: Yes.

Carolyn: You can have the core values written on a poster, on hats, or what have you. It’s the behavior that core value elicits. Then you get into performance management and that’s how employees are looked at from a merit standpoint, are you living the core values? I’d have that hard conversation and I think that what I might get back is, “Carolyn, we work so hard on these, we’ve worked so hard on these,” that would be one, or, “We’ve had these for 10 years. We’ve had these for 10 years, they’re working for us that we have these for 10 years.”

I think it’s a conversation to be had but it’s not just internal communications at the table. Human resources, IT, public relations, public affairs, they all need a seat at that table to talk about are the core values working and leadership, executive leadership. Does that make sense?

Shani: Absolutely, yes. Then I think it can become a discussion where then the CCO or the comms person who may be started to lead the conversation doesn’t have to, just have the spotlight on them, you’re questioning the results. Everyone can weigh in. I love the collaborative approach. [chuckles]

Carolyn: Yes, absolutely. I think that we’re core values often fail is, if it’s seen as being owned by HR. “Human resources owns the core values, they created it.” No, that it can’t be viewed that way. Core values are developed by everybody and they’re embraced by everyone. They’re performed on a daily basis by everyone so that’s where I’m coming from.

Shani: It’s easier and easier to see the behaviors or lack thereof?

Carolyn: Yes.

Shani: As you said, with the virtual megaphone that anyone in the company can have now given the internet and social media.

Carolyn: That’s right.

Shani: Speaking of which, in terms of right now, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about how internal comms has shifted a little bit during the era of COVID. How have the channels shifted? How has the tone shifted, et cetera?

Carolyn: Yes, I think definitely, as you will know, it’s all about remote working right now. There are companies that are coming back, there are companies that are talking about bringing– I think I just read something about Netflix but the Netflix CEO said, “We’re all going to go back to the office.” That’s great, that’s happening. Then there’s the remote workforce, and how do you continue to encourage commitment to your company when you’re not walking the halls every day?

I think there’s pros and cons. The pros to remote working into something like this, we’re doing with Zoom, is that I do feel like people speak up more than they would if they were at a table in a scary boardroom on the 32nd floor, where I do feel like it’s almost a great democratizer in a way because everybody can share their thoughts, everyone gets a seat at the table.

I think also, there’s something to be said for walking the halls. Those hallway conversations that used to take place six months ago, that’s when a lot of problems get solved, clients get solutioning that’s talked about. To your point, though, just to put a finer point on it is that, it’s not going away, virtual work, this is where we are. I think that being pithy, being simple, there’s a great quote by Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough,” I think it’s enough of the gobbledygook, use the time wisely that you have for a team meeting. Really agenda it out ahead of time.

Then I would say also shake it up. There is such a thing as Zoom fatigue. You know that right? Shake it up. Maybe a conference call then you’ve got a Zoom call, then you got another conference call. It’s the future, it’s the wave of the future buit you’ve got to get simple and you’ve got to be inclusive. You’ve got to make sure everybody’s voice is heard, and again, you can’t hide. You’re not in the boardroom at the end of the table, leaning back where people can’t see you. You’re right there. It gives you an opportunity but also an accountability.

Shani: Right. Okay. Then in terms of channel, pretty obvious, there’s more virtual channels going on, whether it’s Zoom or the other internal collaboration channels that leaders need to pay attention to, and then the tone you’re saying simple, on point so we’re not wasting people’s time. It’s sad that it takes a pandemic to get people to think about that because honestly, those should be best practices even if we’re in the office. [chuckles] We should simplify and we should be clear on our agendas and we shouldn’t be wasting people’s time.

Carolyn: Yes, no, I totally agree. In a strange way, it’s come down to the basics. It’s like now we’re in a place of, what are the fundamentals? What do we need to get across? There’s a finer point being put on things. Are you seeing that? Whereas before there was just messages and channels and formats coming in from all different and now it’s a little more, we need more focus.

Shani: Yes, I’m definitely finding people are taking the opportunity in working from home to figure out the productivity puzzle because they have a little more control over their own time and they’re noticing how they’re spending their time, whether they’re spending it on lower-value administration stuff or high-value strategic stuff or something in between. Because since they’re not in the office anymore, people still have lots of calls and Zoom meetings, but it feels like for most people there aren’t quite as many running from conference room to conference room, to meeting to meeting. and sitting on the highway going to Midtown or whatever.

In my experience with some of my coaching clients and as I socialize with people, there’s a real drive to do more with their time, to do more meaningful things with their time.

Carolyn: Yes. Meaningful I think is an important word. I think employees are really- what we’re hearing is don’t waste my time. Don’t waste my time. Meetings, there’s no meeting that has to be an hour by the way.

Shani: Right.

Carolyn: You know what I’m saying? Honestly, there’s no meeting that has to be an hour. Anyway, again, I’m back to like pithy. Just in time. Clear, concise.

Shani: Straight forward.

Carolyn: You know what I mean? Yes, exactly.

Shani: Absolutely. We started off the call and you gave us a couple of examples of CEOs who are doing some good things right now in terms of their messaging. Do you have any other examples? Because what I love about examples is they’re so tangible and then people are like, “Oh, I really liked that leader.” They can go look up the articles after they finish the podcast. Do you have any other examples to share about leaders who are kicking ass right now on the internal comms side?

Carolyn: Yes, absolutely. Well, one springs to mind and he’s on my mind every day because I am in New York City and I am a New Yorker, but regardless of your politics I won’t get into that, but watching Cuomo through this for the past few months has been like watching a masterclass in communication. If he doesn’t know the answer, he says, I don’t know the answer but I’ll find out. He says it like it is, he tells it like it is, he says the hard things. He also shares his heart. He’s also shared about his own personal experience with this and his children’s experience with this with COVID. I would just hold him up and in fact, I wrote him a fan letter-


Shani: You’re a Cuomo groupie.

Carolyn: I wrote him a fan letter and I just said as a communications professional I’ve been so impressed with not just– He does a briefing every day on TV, but also with what he’s writing. I would hold that up as a very poignant of the moment example.

Shani: Okay. Terrific. Thank you. Any last words of wisdom you would leave Leadershifters with in this day and age around internal comms?

Carolyn: I would just say, listen, now is your time. I would say for any of my communication expert colleagues now is your time. Now is your time to step up your game. Now is your time to really have a seat at the table. Now is your time to work seamlessly with other functions within the company. Now is your time to speak your truth to the C-suite, and this is an opportunity. With every challenge, every crisis, this is a real opportunity. I think communications, it’s going to change the game for communications for maybe forever, for a long time to come for sure.

Shani: Yes, let’s hope so. Last question. How do people reach you if they’re interested in chatting more or engaging you in a culture or values recreation process, for example?

Carolyn: I would love that. LinkedIn is probably the best way. I’m in there. I’m Carolyn Hudson on LinkedIn.

[phone ringing]

Shani: Hold on one moment.

Carolyn: What was that? [laughs] Is that your sweet kitten?

Shani: I have a timer that goes off on my phone every day at two o’clock just to remind me to meditate for five minutes and I didn’t have my phone here next to where I’m podcasting to quickly shut it off.

Carolyn: Oh, I love it.

Shani: Hey, that is part of being authentic.

Carolyn: That is part of being authentic and just, I know again, for yourself as a leader and just that you meditate. Listen, I would join your team any day, any day.


Shani: Thanks, hun.

Carolyn: Anytime.

Shani: All right, Carolyn, thank you for joining us, and Leadershifters thanks for tuning in, and just to quickly highlight some of the most important things that we talked about today by way of recap, employee-centric is customer-centric. Put that in your bonnet and, and meditate on that. Another thing I think is really critical that we touched upon is let’s scrap these annual engagement surveys. They’re shit.

They’re a moment in time, they’re not representative of trends. We need to be taking the pulse of our employees and all of our employees from the most entry-level, individual contributor, all the way up to the CEO on a very regular basis, if not real-time basis to figure out what’s happening so we can address those things in the moment.

Make sure your values are still relevant and on point and that they’re inspiring and aspiring. That they’re inspirational and aspirational. Please, let’s get rid of the dull, boring, staid values. They don’t engage people and they don’t get people committed to excellence and innovation and so forth. If your values aren’t innovative, what makes you think your employees are going to innovate for you?

Last, but not least in all of your internal communications, regardless of the channels, the newer ones included, and globally, it’s more important than ever to embrace the KISS principle. Keep it simple, straightforward. Don’t waste people’s time. Let’s remember that people need their work-life balance, and just because they’re working from home doesn’t mean we can abuse the privilege of forever productivity.

Carolyn: Love it.

Shani: You folks knew how to reach me, shani@theleadershiftproject.com and you can find me on all of the social media platforms, and until next time, have a great day, have a great week.

Carolyn: Thanks so much, Shani.

Shani: Thank you, Carolyn.

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