We shared in a previous article about how the role of communicators in an organisation can drive and support co-ownership.

We bridge and connect different teams within the organisation, and at the same time, ensure that the organisation is doing outreach and engagement with a unified voice.

We also serve as risk management and insurance for the organisation. Through our strategies and plans, we actively identify risks and mitigation tactics when pursuing specific business directions and projects. This helps organisations avoid potential crisis scenarios with the benefit of a playbook for managing the scenario if it happens.

strtgcommsgrp - co-ownership and business goals

In our opinion, the scenario can only exist and be optimised if there is co-ownership between the communications team and leadership, management and the other functions within the organisation.

Co-ownership promotes collaboration, shared risk, and increased creativity among teams and functions, which can lead to more engagement and productivity.

Communicators provide the strategy, the framework, application, and measurements to make sense of whether the corporate message or product is selling, in a positive manner, and if not, when to exit and live on to fight another day.

Why does co-ownership matter in driving business goals?

Many functions/teams often fail to acknowledge or accommodate the resources (i.e. time, relationships, etc) needed to internally pitch ideas, concepts, plans or to explain these plans to stakeholders and potential champions within the organisation.

Internal stakeholders should be regarded as THE most important customer.

These stakeholders provide the resources (i.e. time, talent, budget, permission, preference, etc) for the programme or campaign to take off. The process of explaining the advantages, benefits or competitive edge the organisation will derive from the successful implementation is key to securing these resources.

In exchange for resources, it should be clear to internal stakeholders that there is a strategy, structured framework, and approach as well as anticipated outcomes, a timeline and measurement. Incidentally, these are areas that the communications/PR team are intimately familiar with, in our role as project managers

The process of seeking co-ownership must answer the question: What does the organisation stand to gain by executing this programme or campaign?

What value does the communications and PR function serve in this process?

As a communicator, we often find ourselves having to describe the value of what we do, and achieve to these internal stakeholders – ranging from leadership to the Board of Directors, to investors and to other functions.

Communicators often ‘own’ the relationship with key stakeholders because apart from leadership, the communications/PR function is the next group that has an integrated and cohesive perspective of the business.

The value we bring to the table can include the following:

Sidebar: Are we really social creatures with a preference to belong to a tribe or just individuals pretending to like other people?

According to multiple studies, humans are undeniably social creatures with a natural inclination towards social interaction and belongingness.

Throughout history, our survival and well-being have relied on cooperation and the formation of social groups.

Anthropological evidence suggests that humans have lived in communities and tribes for thousands of years, which demonstrates our inherent desire to connect with others.

From a psychological perspective, numerous studies have shown that humans have a fundamental need for social connection. We seek acceptance, support, and a sense of belonging, as these factors contribute to our emotional well-being and overall satisfaction with life. Our social nature is deeply ingrained within us, and we are wired to form and maintain relationships.

Evidence from evolutionary biology and neuroscience supports the idea that social interaction and belongingness are fundamental to human nature. Our brains have evolved to respond positively to social stimuli, such as facial expressions, gestures, and verbal communication. These interactions trigger the release of neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and reward, reinforcing our social behaviors.

While it is true that individuals vary in their social preferences and levels of extroversion or introversion, many people have a genuine desire to connect and interact with others. We seek out social groups, communities, and tribes that align with our values, interests, and identities. These affiliations provide us with a sense of identity, support, and shared purpose.

However, it is important to acknowledge that social dynamics can be complex. Society and culture influence our behaviors and perceptions, and individuals may engage in certain social interactions due to societal expectations or other external factors. This does not necessarily mean that individuals are “pretending” to like other people, but rather that social pressures and norms can influence our behavior to some extent.

While individual preferences and social pressures can influence our behaviors, the fundamental need for social connection remains a significant aspect of human nature.

What are some steps to take to implement co-ownership between functions and teams in the organisation?

Implementing co-ownership between functions and teams requires a cultural shift towards collaboration, communication, and accountability. This can create an environment that promotes co-ownership and enables functions and teams to work together effectively towards shared goals.

The communications/PR function – with the internal communications hat on – can play a key role in communicating the benefits of co-ownership and facilitating this shift.

strtgcommsgrp - co-ownership model

Here are some steps to consider:

From a business perspective, having a strong culture of co-ownership within an organisation can serve as a critical component driving differentiation.

By promoting a sense of shared responsibility and investment among teams, co-ownership can create a more positive and productive work environment, leading to improved business outcomes.

I provide communications and PR solutions for organisations and practitioners through counsel, consultancy and training. With over 20+ years in the industry, we have created frameworks, methods and content that enable you and your team to launch, grow, level up and earn revenue effectively and efficiently.

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