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Stephen Billing

Hi Chris,
Once again you make some excellent points. I am struck by your first conclusion bullet point, that leadership communication needs to be about influencing the local sense-making process.

You are pointing to this as an HR role, which I agree if HR are responsible for the leadership messages. Sometimes line managers want to do this themselves.

And often they engage the internal communications people, or (in my experience the worst option of all) a PR firm to do the communications.

PR firms especially, and internal comms people also in my experience seem to be focused on flashy (and often expensive) means of getting management's message across.

The sense making process gets no look in when this perspective dominates the communications approach

Chris Rodgers

Hi Stephen,

Many thanks for your comments on this and earlier posts in this mini series.

On this particular post, I was puzzled when I read your comment about my apparent advocacy of a leading role for HR in the local sense-making process. Having re-read it, I can see how that perception might have arisen. My intended position is fully in line with yours. That is, I see this as primarily the responsibility of line managers.

What I had intended to convey was the view that those in HR need to expand their philosophy and understanding to recognise and support this key aspect of organizationl dynamics (along with the other aspects I have pointed to).

As I see it, only line managers can lead change. Others (including HR) can help to facilitate change but they can't lead it. And a critical leadership role of line managers is to actively engage in the local sense-making process.

Stephen Billing

Ok, that sounds fine to me, Chris.

I do think HR does not get involved enough in what is going on in the shadows - more concerned about the formal channels. But that's another story!

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