Communication Competence – A Scarce Resource in Executive Management
Hammer & Hanborg carried out the Nordic Executive Survey during the autumn of 2013 in co-operation with the Marketing Associations in Denmark, Finland and Norway. Over 1,000 managers answered the survey that collects feedback from marketing and communications managers in the Nordic region. The picture that emerges is one of a relatively successful group of managers.
They are well educated, many are responsible for the whole Nordic region, they report directly to the CEO and half of them belong to executive management. Furthermore they say that communication and marketing have become more important and that they have gained in status internally in their organisations.
So far so good – but there is also a widespread dissatisfaction with executive managements’ competence when it comes to marketing and communication. Only 50% of the respondents think that their executive management team have communication competence. In the public sector the figure sinks to as low as 19%. The figure for the travel industry is 17% and bottom of the pile are energy companies at 14%. Those that come out best are PR and communications agencies as well as media companies.
It would be easy to assume that the 50% that lack communication competence are those compan
ies where the marketing or communications manager is not part of the executive management team. But it is not that simple. Those that are themselves members of the management team are more positive about the management’s communication competence – but not all of them! Almost 40% of them do not think that the management team have communication competence.
That implies that it is not enough to include the marketing or communication manager for the executive management to be seen as communicatively competent. Today it is necessary that several – maybe all – in the management team need to understand how to communicate about their business. We believe that this will lead to changes when it comes to who gets to be a part of executive management in the future and what competence is required of each management member. Communication competence will be a matter of survival for the management team as a whole and should be something that each team member feels at home with for the company to be successful.
Or as one of the respondents put it “most management members can see and understand that the difference between success and failure is often communication”.
Source: Hammer & Hanborg