For the last few years, I have been blogging in the gaps in my schedule while working for a big international company, and have often wondered how I could have more impact as a consultant, taking my new ideas and experiences, and acting on them in partnership with other organizations and practitioners.
Today, I stop wondering and start creating. Changing The Terms (the blog) now becomes Changing The Terms (the business).
The world seems to have no shortage of opportunity for a consultancy that has a philosophically clear and different approach to internal communication and to mobilizing people in companies and communities.
There are entrenched ideas like “employee engagement” that need a good kicking.
There are resurgent approaches like influencer analysis and social mapping which still have the potential to transform our field as they transform the organizations brave enough to use them.
There is an appetite for using words that reflects the power of tone, voice and authenticity to reach the right people in the right way, instead of being cheerleading or patronizing. And,at a time of tight or shrinking budgets, there’s a hunger for approaches that deliver 80% or more of the impact for 20% or less of the cost.
“Terms:” rules and words
At the heart of my thinking in 2014, launching the blog under the name “Changing The Terms”, was that it’s a double-edged approach. “Terms” means “rules”” just as much as it means “words.”
So, from a consulting standpoint, Changing The Terms reflects an ability to shape strategies and introduce game-changing tools – changing the rules of the game – as well as developing the messaging, language, stories and written content to bring the new game to life.
They aren’t mutually exclusive. You don’t need to do a full influencer analysis to create internal content that is more appealing to influencers. You don’t need to overhaul your messaging just because you’ve prepared a social map. And, doing these things at the same time can be very powerful.
A networked approach
Since I launched the Changing The Terms Blog, I have developed a fantastic network of like-minded practitioners who are up for changing the rules and making a difference. Beyond my own core skills in strategy, messaging and writing, a key goal will be to develop projects that draw on talented individuals with different skill sets around the world.
Over to you
The first months of a consultancy are vital, and I intend to be active and visible in generating new opportunities, including with appearances at the first Journal of Internal Communication Live event in London later this month, and on Chuck Gose’s ICology podcast, discussing my recent piece on my “Six Forms” of Employee Engagement.
I would love to hear from you, especially if you interested in putting these ideas to work. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, we can change the terms, and perhaps even create a better game for all of us.