Storm|Connect

As written in the launch article for Storm|Blog, this second post will be dedicated to a more comprehensive introduction to StormConnect, unfolding the concept on which its services are based and how I want to help people and organizations connect.

Academic foundation

While working on my undergraduate degree I studied business administration and organizational communication; an interdisciplinary programme which focused on leadership, strategy and communication in companies, organizations and public institutions. The point of departure was a fundamental understanding of business economics and a sociological knowledge about organizations and their internal & external communication. I found an interest in the interpersonal aspects of communication which is most pronounced in internal and leadership communication, and hence pursued a Master’s degree in leadership, organization and communication.

Work experience

During college I was fortunate enough to work with comunication from the outset; first as associate editor and journalist in a sports organization, followed by my primary occupation as a student in an international company within the healthcare industry. Besides this I have worked with communication in different forms when interning at two agencies as part of my education. Recently, I was hired as Relations Manager and Consultant at a Danish consultancy working with organizational and leadership development with a foundation in communication.

StormConnect

Founding StormConnect in 2013 had more objectives: 1) most student positions do not allow for advisory to customers – and for those that do, the counseling often has to follow a specific concept or line of thought. This isn’t a problem at all – and consistency often equals good communication in an external perspective and is important for the organizational structures that allows knowledge sharing and productivity internally. However, I wanted to drive a process all the way from marketing and sales pitch, over analysis and conceptual development to delivery, follow-up, feedback and re-training by myself. 2) During my experience in different organizational contexts as well as listening to friends and family, I found that the reason people (often) complain about their work (which is prevalent over the lunch tables and in the private sphere) is primarily to be found in (the lack of) communication – either from executives, leaders, managers or between colleagues. Organizations focus on their external communication which is thought be having the most direct influence on sales, revenues organizational results – and by extention the internal communication is often neglected which impairs internal connectivity.

In continuation of this, I’m very interested in interpersonal communication and relations and join the voices and contributers, within academia as well as practice, advocating for the dogma that communication IS leadership (and vice versa). You might wonder: “why is he making THAT pairing?“, and the reason simply is that I see the crux of these notions as converging – which permeates the perspectives from StormConnect.

XxxxxConnect

’Communication’ comes from the latin commūnicāre, which means «to share». Communication IS leadership, as leadership to a large extend is just about sharing(more on this in coming posts): to share a business strategy amongst the employees; to make the strategy relevant to different employee groups while encouraging them to share a common vision that they can work towards; or to share the challenge of getting through the change or crisis that you’re facing. Despite the linguistic meaning of the word, communication however often results in the separation of organizational members and positions. Hence there is a need for a strengthened focus on relations in companies and organizations. Communication constitutes a fundamental prerequisite for the relations emerging in social communities, and relations are key in order to influence, affect and connect people – communication and relations are some of the most important aspects of management and leadership in organizations.

StormConnect helps organizations and people establish these relations; helps them to connect. As an executive or manager you need to connect with yourself and your values, as personal and professional stability is important when leading an organization or department with various paradoxes and challenges that need to balance in the everyday; you need to connect with the employees or volunteers in the organization; the employees should connect with the strategy, the values, an upcoming or imminent change or crisis; or perhaps there is a need for you to focus on and enable strengthened connections between the employees.

Connections strengthen internal cohesiveness and make it possible to account for the variety of worldviews in the organizational setting (read my posts, part 1 and part 2, on LinkedIn). By extension, the execution of internal strategies and initiatives is improved. Connections are established and maintained via communication which is the outset for consultancy from StormConnect.

– Managing Communication

The tagline under the logo reads “managing communication” – looking back at the launch article again, it doesn’t suprise that I find the linguistic universe interesting and full of opportunities. That is also the reason I chose this tagline, as it can – and should – be read in two ways: 1) as a noun – a thing similar to leadership communication that can have its own description and meaning in a dictionary, or a department with employees and a director in a company. 2) It can also be something you can do, where “managing” is a verb – something that the director from the former example is responsible for (or myself:)). I’m fully aware of the connotations to the word “manager” as opposed to “leader” – but as I wrote in the launch article, I think that leadership & communication comprise inherent as well as acquired properties – read more about it on Linkedin here. The aquired properties demands some sort of “management” of the new features/skills.

Although I believe that leadership (&) communication consist of both intrinsic and obtained features, I am a firm believer in the importance of the former which is my general approach: pushed to the limit you can always get the education necessary to develop your skills, whereas it’s a difficult task to change your personality. By this I’m (really!) not proposing that agencies delivering internal communication solutions or providing communication materials in the form of plans, QA’s, etc. are redundant! They are indeed very important for the organizational efficiency and connectivity and hence for the work of line managers as well as employees. What I mean is, that the understanding of what communication is and can is the foundation for any use of pre-fabricated materials – and for briefing the agency developing the materials, for that matter. Because, how can you conduct authentic leadership when your materials is developed elsewhere, and especially if you’re not able to make them understand your “leadership context”?

The consultancy

I offer services within two areas of leadership communication and organizational connectivity (for now!), working transcendental across the levels of usual business planning:

1. One-on-one advisory to leaders and managers on strategic, operational and tactical encounters within leadership communication – both in terms of single actions, specific incidents or daily initiatives, as well as more comprehensive, holistic strategies or as long-term adviser.

2. Sparring with boards or smaller leadership teams for inspiration and discussion on strategic approaches to organizational leadership with a foundation in communication.

Consultancy is based on conversations and on-site visits in order to get the deepest possible understanding of the person, organization, company or context in question. Current efforts are analysed and followed up with advisory tailored the unique challenges and needs. You are not told what to do, as that would imply a better understanding of the organization than you have yourself; you will get a second opinion and advisory that spurs reflection and helps you to see new aspects and opportunities.

Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any queries or want to discuss anything: send an e-mail to storm@stormconnect.dk, a message via the form below or call +45 28 70 92 61.

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