Structuring a future-fit communication function

A centre excellence established your authority

Organisations have it hard.

Fickle markets, growing competition, increased business risks, pressure to increase productivity and time to market, cost reductions, the need for innovation and collaboration, decentralised teams, limited skillsets and talents.

How do you manage these challenges and promote efficiency and excellence?

One route is move away from traditional, silo-based models to a a centralised approach. Though the model has been prevalent for a number of years in areas such as IT, local companies have been slower in adopting a centre of excellence (CoE) for their communication function.

However, more than ever, communication as a business function needs to adapt – or slowly die.

Enabling excellence and efficiency in communication

A CoE enables the communication function to:

  • be individually and collectively more efficient
  • shape culture and create networks
  • improve generalist and specialist skillsspan>
  • drive modernisation and innovation
  • instil one shared narrative across shared message plansspan
  • improve existing communication practices and grow new capabilities to maximise value, enabling delivery on strategic focus areas.

Benefits for your entire business

Some of the tangible benefits of establishing a CoE for communication in your organisation include:

  • elimination of silos, duplication and waste
  • standardisation
  • reduced complexity
  • process and strategic alignment across focus areas
  • Interconnected communication
  • Skills development
  • Simplified team collaboration and shared-learning

A CoE also promotes knowledge transfer from external resources, like your agencies and other suppliers, which is critical in empowering self-servicing communicators.

The result: overall alignment, quicker time to market, reduced costs and communication excellence.

How we did it for Nedbank

Nedbank’s Communication Lab

At Nedbank, we supported Group Communication in launching The Communications Lab – a centre of expertise and excellence, where a community of Nedbank communicators and external partners come together in an online platform, through communication forums, strategic sharing sessions and team excursions, to share and grow their knowledge and skills as communicators, so that they can be individually and collectively more effective.

The result

  • The Communications Lab successfully launched in 2015, and is an ongoing work in progress – growing and improving daily.
  • A key success factor has been the uptake and participation within the community, with more than two-thirds of communicators within Nedbank, as well as agency partners actively participating in the process.
  • For Nedbank, the long-term goal is for communicators to:

THINK:
“The Communications Lab provides me with access to the smartest communication tools, training and content; I have an opportunity to connect with fellow communicators and Nedbank partners; This is my opportunity to sharpen my skills as a communicator”

FEEL:
“The Communications Lab provides me with the support I need to fulfil on my role as a communicator and trusted advisor in Nedbank; The Communications Lab benchmarks us as worldclass in communication”

DO:
“I am an active contributor to The Communications Lab, and as a community we are all accountable to its success; Through the value I get from The Communications Lab I am able to position the Nedbank brand in a consistent manner to derive significant step change; and in my role as communicator get Nedbank staff to love the brand and advocate it”

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