5 ways the Chicago Fed shook up internal comms

Realizing that stuffy, top-down communication no longer works, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago conducted a makeover that created a more lively culture. Here are some takeaways.

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One day Karan Chandler at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago opened an email from an accountant upset about the new internal newsletter, The Skinny.

“Please do not refer to our Bank’s accountants as ‘bean counters,'” the Bean Counter wrote. “I find this term very offensive, as well as unprofessional.”

Some communicators might apologize and promise to avoid such language. But Chandler, assistant vice president of internal communication, was pleased by the feedback. The lively tone to the Chicago Fed’s new messaging was stirring up employee reaction.

Employees were reading the newsletter for a change. People were showing up for town hall meetings. Staffers were blogging.

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