Working papers for public review and comment

Please find below the latest working papers from the three working groups.
These are working documents, thoughts and views are welcomed.

  1. Organisational Character Group: working paper (first draft)
  2. Listening Group: working paper (reviewed draft).
  3. Responsibility Group: working paper (first draft).
Posted in The Melbourne Mandate | 5 Comments

Working paper for Organisational Character Group

Please find attached the latest thinking from the Organisational Character Group: working paper (first draft). These are working documents, thoughts and views are welcomed.

Posted in Character, The Melbourne Mandate | 4 Comments

Working paper for Listening Group

Please find attached the latest thinking from the Listening Group: working paper (first draft). These are working documents, thoughts and views are welcomed.

Posted in Listening, The Melbourne Mandate | 14 Comments

Working paper for Responsibility Group

Please find attached the latest thinking from the Responsibility Group: working paper (first draft). These are working documents, thoughts and views are welcomed.

Posted in Responsibility, The Melbourne Mandate | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

From Noel Turnbull on Culture

I know we are aiming for 10 requirements but might I suggest a slightly different way to produce an outcome.

Essentially a culture of listening is predicated on dialogue which is the key characteristic of what our industry ought to be doing – encouraging dialogue between organisations and publics/stakeholders. Dialogue is only possible if there is some mutual basis for a meaningful discussion. Without knowledge and understanding speaking and listening is essentially a futile exercise. At the same time the practicalities – requirements, instruments, methods – of dialogue vary between markets, cultures and countries. Cultural relativity is a factor in how we operate.

In such a situation, rather than requirements, could we re-direct our focus towards a set of principles which can be operationalized in different ways depending on the organisations and the cultures in which they are followed. This is akin to differing regulatory approaches where one focuses on principles and the other on prescriptions with the latter prompting more and more prescriptions to cater for new eventualities.

To this end some principles on which a culture of listening could be built might be:

1. Creating an organisational and communication vision based on building trust through transparency and meaningful relationships with stakeholders and the wider community.
2. Implementing policies and principles of transparency based on internationally recognised standards for corporate social responsibility, sustainability, financial and governance reporting. (Some egs could be cited under each).
3. Implementing policies and structures which cultivate and maintain enduring stakeholder relationships.
4. Striving to align organisational values and strategies with the public’s interests.
5. Establishing evaluation methodologies which measure and monitor the quality and range of key stakeholder relationship characteristics such as trust, empathy, confidence (any others?)

Please note that points 3. And 5 are rough paraphrases of some of Craig Fleisher’s thinking on public affairs strategic planning models.

Not sure if there is any help but might prompt some further discussion.

Posted in Listening | 6 Comments

Defining Organisational character

Welcome to the discussion on organisational character. As co-chairs, Anne and I wanted to provide a short couple of paras to you around our ‘statement of intent’ for this Group to serve as a conversation starter.

Defining Organisational character

An organisation’s character, like those of people, is determined by the values it adopts and pro-actively lives by. No-one imposes these values, they are self-determined. The values an organisation lives and operates by shapes its culture, frames the interactions it has with all stakeholders and ultimately how it acts. As with a person, if an organisation does not live by the values it purports to, then stakeholders are entitled to question the authenticity of the organisation. Any gap that exists between how an organisation says it acts and how it actually acts, or put more simply the difference between stakeholder perception and the organisation reality, creates potential reputation risks and other issues. With the explosion of digital technology, the impact of social media and increasing pressure on organisational transparency, the magnifying glass has never been so acutely focused on organisations and how they operate. Reputational risk is public relations territory and this is why practitioners should be involved in helping determine and/or test the ‘character’ or rather the values that underpin the character of an organisation. Does the organisation truly lived by its values? Does it have the proof points to back this up? And, do the values they stack up against what stakeholders expect of the organisation?

In our working group we want to come up with a practical tool (possibly called an Integrity Index) that helps organisations to identify if and how they live up to their values. The tool can be used not only as a measure of integrity, but as a means for stimulating discussions and actions that address issues that affect the purpose, strategy and operations of organisations. We believe this will provide a significant and practical outcome from the Mandate discussions and help further move public relations up the strategic value chain.

Posted in Character | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Melbourne Mandate

Join a new conversation on changing organizations – and changing communication

In an age where the value of an organization lies increasingly in the value of its relationships and reputation, communication is becoming something that defines who you are rather than what you do.

How can this be explained and made real? How do communicators help CEOs define and lead these new organizations? How can communicators embed listening-based communication across the culture of the entire organization? How do they then articulate their roles within it?

Answering these questions will build on the work of  the Sixth World Public Relations Forum in 2010, where professionals from more than 30 countries contributed to and endorsed the Stockholm Accords defining the value contributed by public relations professionals to organizations and society.

But the world today is different from what it was only two years ago, as organizations and society struggle to adapt in an age when both internal and external publics have unprecedented communication access, influence and power.

Informed by the Stockholm Accords and a recent survey of its members around the world, the Global Alliance is now exploring an updated approach to the organizational and societal value that communicators can contribute as we prepare for our 2012 World Public Relations Forum in Melbourne, Australia.

We kindly invite you to submit comments on the opportunity, role and value of public relations and communication management in these areas:

1. Defining organizational character    

If reputation is an absolute measure of how others judge an organization, an authentic and aspirational effort to define its DNA or core character and ways of doing things might be the organization’s way of influencing the factors that build that reputation. 

How can communicators contribute to defining, maintaining, assessing and sustaining an organization’s DNA or core character?

2. Creating a culture of listening and engagement

The widespread use of digital networks makes communication a richer and yet riskier process than ever before. But today’s tools are only a means to an end: that of embedding a culture of listening and engagement not just in the communications department, but across the organization.

How can communicators develop and deploy this culture for the benefit of both the organization and its stakeholders?

3. Understanding personal, organizational and professional responsibility

Individuals, organizations and professions bear responsibilities to society – bringing ethical and sustainability considerations into the decisions and actions we undertake every day.

Where lies the nature of a communicator’s responsibility today? Which processes can ensure a coherent, yet sustainable, balance of the three spheres?

4. Any other important issues or areas.

Read the full abstract.

Leave a general comment.

Leave a comment on Character, Responsibility and Listening.

The site owner retains the right to remove any comment deemed to be offensive or not in line with a respectful debate on the subject of this page.
Posted in The Melbourne Mandate | 8 Comments