The New York Times has the story on venture firms moving into sophisticated communications.
This is in line with trends identified in Serve to Lead.
21st Century Communication Trends
In the 21st century, communication is becoming a core business function. Traditionally this might be declared as the case, but, in reality, it has often been disregarded. Instead, communication was seen as ancillary.
Among the trends:
–Relationships are supplanting transactions as the dominant business interaction. This means that communication must be… communication… that is: it must be two-way. Listening must be every bit as emphasized as “getting the word out” on what you’re up to.
–Listening creates value. Information must constantly be sought. In a time when value can be created outside of established institutions, established institutions must search out and identify value. Simply being passive is insufficient. Systematic listening and learning is a competitiveness issue.
–Communication must be initiated, not simply offered in response. No matter how great the disparity in wealth and power of institutions and individuals, today anyone can create a relationship through Information Age tools. To overlook this reality can be dangerous.
–Transparency can be an opportunity. Transparency can appear, at first glance, as a danger to established institutions. This can be especially true for firms in the finance space. There are many misconceptions abroad in the public. Specific practices may be viewed as proprietary, creating competitive advantage or, at the least, negotiating advantage. In a time when information is diffused beyond prior experience–and the options for financing are increasing–simply slapping a non-disclose agreement on the table is insufficient. Firms may wish to seek competitive advantage amid transparency. If they don’t, they’re on borrowed time. Because others will.
–Authority is fleeting. Financial organizations can no longer rely on established value from historic achievements. The world after the 2008 crash has made that clear enough… think Lehman Brothers. Today, authority must be established and reestablished. Trust must be earned and verified. The speed of innovation and the churn of innovators dictate that those who serve must constantly reestablish their value proposition. And they must, increasingly, work to become known in the first instance. Young people striving to create value may understandably underestimate the value created by other stakeholders. At the least, they may presume a more level playing field in terms of establishing bona fides. For venture firms, like other service providers, this implies a focus on promotion and education, bolstered by an unaccustomed openness to the terms of discussion established by stakeholders.
What about You?
Are you updating your thought–and action–relating to communication?
Have you made it a core business function?
How are you measuring progress?
How are you achieving ongoing improvement?
Are you meeting your customers’ evolving expectations of transparency in your operations?
Are you systematically listening to your customers and other stakeholders?
Are you systematically making use of what you learn from listening?
21st Century Communication & Venture Firms