Leo Blankenship – VP of Operations & Advisory
10 August 2021
Convergence – Learning, Knowledge, Internal Communications, Internal Marketing
Recently, a LinkedIn post came through my feed from an HR recruiter who described recently handling two (2) Internal Communications role postings within the HR group and noting that they more and more had seen these roles sitting within HR rather than the traditional Marketing group. The recruiter posed a question to the LinkedIn community about whether we thought these roles should report into HR or Marketing.
This triggered for me one of my favorite thought puzzles that I’ve been discussing for the last year or so with colleagues and it also caused me to post back to the Linked-in post as well.
I thought I would share that thought puzzle and some of my thoughts about this subject as well with you and see if you find something that resonates and is helpful.
Each of us every day spends more and more of our time consuming “information” via our screens, small (phone), medium (tablet), and large (laptop/desktop). Much of that information is either sought out by us via search engines, various feeds, direct emails, and other digital push or pull mechanisms, including a litany of apps.
In some cases, this information is clearly labeled as “learning”, “knowledge/FAQ”, “Internal Communication”, or “Internal Marketing”. But do you as the consumer really care about the provenance of the object? Does it really matter to you if you “learned”, “gained knowledge”, or “received communication”? I posit, that most of us do not really care who produced the “information” as long as it was accurate and helped us solve the problem/crisis/need of the moment, meaning it gave us new information and new competency that we didn’t have before we interacted with the object.
Now, at this point, you may be thinking is this just Leo’s rant ramble of the week, or is he going somewhere with this thought puzzle? I promise, I’m going to bring it home now.
If our consumers (learners in our learning lingo) do not care about the provenance of the information that made them smarter, why do we care about the provenance?
I suggest that we and our colleagues from our “Knowledge”, “Internal Communications” and “Internal Marketing” should spend less time thinking about our functions and we should spend much more time tightly collaborating on our “consumers” experience to ensure we all are getting the right best information into our consumers’ ecosystem as timely, accurately and easily as possible. In the end, our only focus should be on our consumers’ experience so that they leave their interaction with our content smarter and more capable than when they entered.
Which brings me back to the original question the poster posed. Should the role report to HR or Marketing? My answer was that I would actually like to see all of the functions I describe above aggregated into either a “Workforce Enablement” or “Customerforce Enablement” function (depending on the consumer type) so that the disciplines all collaborate in a tight-knit fashion solely focused on the needs of their ultimate consumer.
If you’d like to talk more about this thought puzzle or have your own comments to add please post a comment!