A communication plan is designed to help an organization share information effectively with all stakeholders to realize its core goals. Correspondingly, it is a key to developing and understanding operations at all levels of an organization. Implementing a strategic plan can either be a success or failure, depending on the effectiveness of the communication plan in use (Khalid, 2020).
Following the development of a strategic map and an action plan for the Washington University School of Medicine, this paper presents a communication plan for their implementation. Accordingly, the paper provides a developed description of strategies to be used in the communication plan, including how formal and informal communication channels will be utilized. Moreover, the paper explains how the communication plan seeks to achieve the strategic goal for the organization, as well as the leadership skills that will be critical for implementing the communication plan.
Strategies for Implementing the Communication Plan
The strategies I intend to use for implementing the communication plan include incorporating a statement of purpose, tapping into the stakeholders’ vision, as well as utilizing formal and informal communication channels. The following subheadings provide details for each strategy selected for implementing the communication plan.
Incorporating a Statement of Purpose
The statement of purpose will be used to indicate the reason for developing the communication plan. Accordingly, it will act as a reference and a reminder to the stakeholders about components of the action plan, including management by objectives, consultative decision-making, scope identification, and data management. Therefore, the statement of purpose will be useful in clarifying the organization’s objectives to the stakeholders as detailed in the action plan.
Tapping into Stakeholders’ Views
This strategy will leverage suggestions from the stakeholders on how to implement the plan. The strategy is based on the understanding that a communication plan is more effective when there is clarity about how it will affect each stakeholder. In the foregoing, Alqaisi (2018) opines that managing stakeholders’ expectations and interests is critical for the success of any project. Therefore, the communication plan will be designed in such a way that it will meet the requirements of all the stakeholders, and all messages will be tested to ensure they are effective before they are disseminated. Moreover, there will be a willingness to adjust the communication plan based on the stakeholders’ views by tailoring each massage according to particular components of the action plan as well as specific stakeholders’ interests.
Utilizing Formal and Informal Communication Channels
Both formal and informal communication channels will be used to implement the plan. Formal communication follows pre-defined channels and is designed by the management to follow certain rules, processes, as well as standards (Polat et al., 2018). Such communication will be through emails, virtual and physical meetings, and official correspondences. Accordingly, formal communication will be appropriate through its ability to document evidence, as well as its timely and systematic flow.
On the other hand, informal communication may take the form of face-to-face or electronic media forms in non-work settings such as during lunches, after-work meetings, and parties (Polat et al., 2018). Such channels will be necessary as they offer an opportunity for fostering closer relationships among stakeholders for the success of the communication plan and, ultimately, that action plan.
Effectiveness of the Communication Plan in Achieving the Strategic Goal
The suggested communication plan will adequately contribute to the organization’s strategic goal as it comes with clear accountability in its implementation. In this regard, members of the strategic management team are charged with clear responsibilities and are accountable for communication decisions within the team, across the organization, as well as the external stakeholders.
The communication plan allows for a clear analysis of the information needs of various stakeholders, thus, guarding against information overload or confusion. Moreover, key stakeholders will be involved in the implementation of the strategic plan, including the top management, senior management, as well as the board. This will make it easier to develop a communication plan that will effectively disseminate important information to all stakeholders in the organization.
Appropriate communication policies within the suggested communication plan are also the key drivers to the realization of the organization’s strategic goal. Accordingly, members of the organization and the company will utilize the clearly articulated communication policy to approach communication the right way. For instance, the management operates with transparency as a fundamental communication policy. Such an approach motivates members of the organization and all stakeholders to contribute to important matters. Consequently, there is a free flow of information which ensures the realization of the strategic goal.
Leadership or Managerial Skills Required for Implementing the Communication Plan
A communication plan may be excellent, but it also requires efficient leadership and managerial skills for successful implementation. Such skills will include active listening, the ability to receive and act on feedback, transparency, and empathy. First, active listening will be crucial for the communication plan as those in management who possess the skill will manage to understand the views of all stakeholders and members of the organization.
Such a process will allow for a healthy exchange of information and, ultimately, an efficient implementation of the action plan. Leaders who actively listen will be capable of portraying another important leadership skill which is the ability to receive and act on feedback. This ability will enable the strategic management team and the rest of the organization to build trust with each other and the overall leadership for better results.
Transparency is another managerial skill that will break down a communication barrier often associated with stakeholders feeling left out. Accordingly, transparency will lead to the disclosure of all the critical information through the communication plan for sustained success. Finally, empathy is an important leadership skill that will enable stakeholders to feel valued in the organization. Thus, they will freely contribute to the realization of the organization’s strategic goal.
Alqaisi, I. F. (2018). The effects of stakeholder’s engagement and communication management on project success. MATEC Web of Conferences, 162, 02037. Web.
Khalid, M. (2020). Effective communication for strategic planning. FM Magazine. Web.
Polat, V., Lynn, G., Akgün, A., & Emre, O. (2018). Formal and informal communication in new product development teams: The mediation effect of team trust. International Journal of Innovation, 6(2), 97-111. Web.