On Communication

This is the first entry on the IPAO Director’ Blog. This blog will be updated periodically and I will use it as an avenue to improve communications in the Office. In the Blog, I will share information that is relevant to the whole Office and that involves items that are not “the news of the day” but items that need some discussion or consideration in the IPAO community. The information in the Blog is intended to share views and ideas and to stimulate discussion not to provide direction.Following that line of reasoning; it is pertinent that this first Blog entry be devoted to communication. When I joined IPAO a month ago, Mark gave me the action to improve internal communications in the Office. Since then, I have gathered some of your ideas and started taking small steps to improve the flow of information such as providing a standard template for the staff meeting agendas, distributing the agendas before the staff meetings, and the creation of this Blog. I have also started to look at other communication means such as the IPAO web site (which I think needs a major face lift!) and the PBMA web pages. Also, there are other tools available that we could utilize to our advantage such as wikis.

So, we have several communication tools and repositories at our disposal such as staff meetings, one-on-ones, e-mail, weekly reports, web pages, wikis, blogs, share drives, etc…but the secret is, I believe, to avoid duplication and to select the tool that is better suited for each job while considering not only our internal needs but the needs of our stake-holders. “Easier said that done” you say and I agree! The overall goal is to provide clear, concise, accessible, and timely information. If we get this right, we should be able to make a dent in the number of redundant e-mails that clog our inbox while improving the level of situational awareness of activities and information that affect and are affected by our work. We will be working on cataloging types of information and matching those to communications means and repositories… more to come as special topics in the staff meeting.

Communication is the blood flow of every organization and the majority of organizations struggle with it. The ones that succeed have to work hard on it. Let’s work together to improve ours. Let me hear your ideas!

James Ortiz
Deputy Director IPAO

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