The dissertation for my MBA was about the importance and necessity of effective communication in change programmes, which, at the time, were stated as having an 80% failure rate.

Over 20 years later many businesses have got much better at what we call ‘internal communication’ but there are still some that assume internal communication is the activity of a particular function within the organisation. This is wrong. Good quality internal communication is the result of a mindset and behaviour that is embedded into the organisational culture. It is also the responsibility of everyone.

Those organisations that assume their communication needs can be met through the introduction of a monthly newsletter are always disappointed with the results. A recent study on email newsletters showed that 56% of recipients spent less than 9 seconds looking at the ‘newsletter’ and only 8% clicked a link – which is often a device used to point people to more detailed information stored on an intranet.

Using a single device, such as ‘the monthly update’, and/or a person to deliver internal communication is simply not effective and in fact is a waste of effort and money.

Internal communication is not one activity, it is a collection of activities that start with induction and includes knowledge sharing, updating, coaching, training, idea generation, team building – it is the blood the pumps through an organisation sustaining it and creating the energy to take it forward.

Internal communication can deliver competitive advantage. People feel valued when they are communicated with regularly and an organisation that has a culture of quality internal communication is more likely to be agile and responsive to change.