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Very few people want to read a corporate strategy – that's a fact! But to really achieve the great results, you need to find a way to get everyone pulling in the same direction.

Enabling people to see a role for themselves in your organization’s plans and a genuine way for them to contribute to the objectives is crucial to building an engaged workforce and achieving your strategic goals.

Helen Schick will tell IoIC Live 2016 about how the British Red Cross used a combination of simple, traditional and new techniques to give thousands of staff and volunteers the opportunity to be part of the next stage of their journey – to help people in crisis.

In particular, her presentation at the event in Birmingham on Friday May 6 will focus on the importance of leadership buy-in, letting go of control - and measuring your results. Download the full programme for IoIC Live 2016 - which also features speakers from IBM, the Foreign Office, Grant Thornton and the Chalfont Project - here

Here we reproduce a feature which originally appeared in InsideOut – the monthly magazine for members of IoIC – after Helen and the Red Cross won the Institute’s Gold Award for Best Campaign 2015. 

Road map leads to gold

Helen SchickWherever and whenever there’s a crisis in the world, the Red Cross is there to help. The organisation’s work is vital, so engaging staff and volunteers behind strategy is essential.

So, when the British Red Cross needed to tell its people about a new five-year plan, it took something special.

Refusing To Ignore People In A Crisis was its road map showing both aims and challenges, created by internal communications manager Helen Schick (pictured right) with Involve agency.

“The challenge was to make strategic level information interesting and relevant to our 4,000 staff and 27,000 volunteers,” she explains. “We wanted something that would make sense to our executive leadership team but was also of interest to someone who works in one of our shops for a couple of hours a week.”

The aim was to have everyone pulling in the same direction and knowing exactly what part they could play.

“We wanted to inspire and excite people, but also for them to ask ‘What does it mean for me?’, ‘How can I contribute?’”

The lengthy strategy document was broken down into six areas:

  • Work in the UK
  • Global work
  • Funding
  • Our people
  • Technology, and
  • Our voice (advocacy)

“Within each section we gave three headline things we wanted to achieve over the next five years,” says Helen. “The idea was not for people to remember everything but they would pick out two or three things relevant to them.”

“The challenge was to make strategic level information interesting and relevant to our 4,000 staff and 27,000 volunteers. We wanted something that would make sense to our executive leadership team but was also of interest to someone who works in one of our shops for a couple of hours a week.”

Refusing To Ignore People In A Crisis then spread the word via:

  • Z-cards – people could fold out the road map themselves and find out about it in their own way.
  • Meeting in a box – a digital information pack used by teams. It showed the journey and let them make sense of it. Designed for use by up to 200 people, it could also be used by four or five in Red Cross offices and shops.
  • National assembly - 900 staff and volunteers gathered in Brighton and the event was based on the road map, with a marketplace where they could find out all they needed and contribute their own ideas and suggestions.

The campaign was launched in January and by summer awareness among staff was 98%.

Helen’s next challenge is to keep the conversation going and says: “We’re using imagery from the road map to jog people’s memories and asking ‘Now you understand the strategy, how are we going to deliver it?’”

She’s confident, adding: “The campaign had to be robust and flexible – robust so we don’t keep switching our aims but flexible enough so we can move our resources and effort to where the need is greatest.

“Currently, we’re right in the thick of the refugee crisis, we help people in crisis wherever they are and whoever they are. We’re a completely neutral humanitarian organisation and that’s why often we can respond when no-one else can. That’s why I feel passionate about the Red Cross and why the campaign is so important.”

To book email: [email protected]
Download the full programme for IoIC Live

Prices for IoIC Live 2016

Full time delegate - includes pre-conference workshop and networking event – from Thursday 18.00 including all meals and single accommodation to Friday 16.30

IoIC member - £550 + VAT
Non-member - £650 + VAT

Friday - 09.00 - 16.30, including lunch
IoIC member - £350 + VAT
Non-member - £450 + VAT

To book email, [email protected]

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