Sincerity Works

Interesting piece in the Chicago Tribune about a boss who communicates his staff successes to all staff and even saves lives doing so.

George Halvorson, CEO of healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente has been sending these notes to his 200,000 staff for five years – no corporate speak, no spin, just the honest truth about large and small successes so staff can see how their work is helping people.

As the article says: “This isn’t a management-babble attempt to create some phoney esprit de corps. It’s a boss giving his employees examples of what they’re doing well and making them feel good about the results.

I reckon this principle could be applied to media relations as well. Our media training teaches you to speak honestly about your successes and failures – sure, put the failures in context in the negative-leaning world of media – but be open and honest and the various stakeholders (like Halvorson’s staff) will think better of you for the sincerity.

Unfortunately not enough companies have the strength to be that honest and sincere – or they’d like to be but the lawyers won’t let them!

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