November 1, 2016

ProDev Lunch 002 – 5 “People Components” to Improve Workflow & Build Cohesion

A talk by Kristina Halvorson.

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Content/Communication by Kristina Halvorson

In a hilarious and sarcasm-filled talk given at an Event Apart conference, Kristina Halvorson explained some of the nitty-gritty details of being a content strategist consultant. Mainly, that you can make your clients cry, or you can make them feel enthused to begin a new chapter in their business.

Kristina has developed a four-part core strategy that is focused on content components (substance and structure) and people components (workflow and governance). When talking with clients she found that the content component was always an upbeat, fun meeting to be at. But as soon as the people component came into play, all forward momentum of the business was halted. She claims that this is because the five basic principles of people managing are rarely in place before she comes to consult on content.

Kristina gives us five components to think of when we think of “people components”; principles, strategy, process, roles, and perceptions. Without this plan in place, many people get lost in the forward momentum of the internet, and a business as a whole becomes non-cohesive. As she talked, my team could really see some areas that we, as an agency could improve, creating better content for our clients, and a better workplace for us as a team.

First, she talked about principles. The organization as whole must be united in what their day-to-day work means. These are not enforced rules, but whole-hearted beliefs held company-wide.

The business then needs to have a clear strategy. Make it have numbers. And be clear on where each person can influence that strategy, as most of us cannot influence every part of strategy every day.

Develop a process that works for everyone. If the process doesn’t work, throw it out and start over. There must be a flow to the work, or everyone does not move forward together. In order for a process to exist, everyone must understand his or her roles within the process.

Having no defined roles means either everyone does everything, or everyone does nothing. Roles give us responsibility, accountability, and the knowledge of who needs to know what (Hint: it’s not everyone on your email list).

Finally, she states that everyone needs to have the same perception of a job. It is a shared language within a business, and that shared language gives the final touch to a well-oiled, well-informed business team.

Sound like something your team could hear? It certainly started a conversation in our office, and one that I think is needed for every company at some point in time. Check it out, and let us know what parts you found to be the most relevant to your company.