Try this exercise to prove your worth as a communicator

Start with this question: What would happen to your organization if your team suddenly disappeared?

Finding your team's purpose

Here’s an easy—but powerful—exercise for your communications team.

The Value Proposition Worksheet is a simple tool that can clarify and quantify the worth of your work. Filling out the worksheet is a good way to craft a tangible compilation of the value your team brings to the organization—and it’s also a smart way to uncover gaps in your strategy.

One of the most instructive parts of the exercise is to consider the “absence test”:

  • If the communications team were surgically removed from the organization, what would the consequences be?
  • What would be the organization’s chief pain points if we suddenly disappeared?

Another approach is to have your team review your organization’s vision and mission statements. Now ask yourselves: How could your organization achieve its goals and objectives without communicating?

Almost certainly, there is no way your organization could fulfill its mission or vision without communicating something, to someone, somehow. If your organization were a car, communications is the ignition. You could argue that communication is the steering wheel, too, which is why it’s essential to plan exactly where you’re going and how you’re going to reach your strategic destination.

It all starts with matching your activities and strategy to your organization’s highest goals. If you find yourself and your team bogged down by ancillary projects or sidetracked by busywork, take time to get back on track. Schedule regular sessions to ensure you’re all on the same page, and make sure your team members are working toward meaningful, substantive objectives that dovetail with concrete organizational goals.

Regularly consider what would happen if your team were to disappear. Which functions would your colleagues miss the most? This is a solid first step toward unlocking a more strategic, valuable direction for your work—and for establishing more fruitful collaborations with your colleagues.

Caroline Kealey is founder of Ingenium Communications. A version of this post first appeared on the Results Map blog.

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