Enabling Utility of the Internet in sub-Saharan Africa through Social Capital

Access to the Internet is expanding at a phenomenal rate in sub Saharan Africa. However, the quantity and quality of information relevant to African internet users is minimal thus diminishing the utility of the medium.

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With just one registered domain per 10 000 people in sub Sahara, it is apparent that the continent is underserved of content (Umuntu Media, 2012).

A lot of the literature on Internet in sub Saharan Africa has adopted a utopian view of access to technology at the expense of shared knowledge and collaborative relationships that are key drivers of successful Internet growth.

While  low cost, high speed internet and access to mobile telephony is vital to bringing new audiences online in sub Saharan Africa, it will not necessarily provide a solution to the paucity of locally-relevant information.

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Not much has been written about the role of social capital or the human infrastructure in propagating Internet growth in sub Saharan Africa, that is, engaged people who create, sustain, and maintain networks. Continue reading →

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Why Humility Matters to Leadership

Great leadership is a bottom up mentality. Great leaders should suspend their ego and ask how they can help their employees to build the organisation. Leaders should be humble, selfless and helpful. Paraphrasing CS Lewis, it is not that leaders should not think less of themselves. Rather leaders need to think of themselves less.

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The idea that a leader is the be all and know all is a fallacy. Leaders build on the people that surround them. Leaders who thin they know everything are destined towards disaster. Continue reading →

Building Great People Experience

The internal communications and engagement function is instrumental in building a great people experience to maximise engagement and performance across an organization.

Organizational progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life, who have the drive and the influence to achieve something bigger than themselves.

It is the aim of the internal communications team to build internal understanding of the business strategy, culture and values
Internal communications efforts provide employees with timely and relevant information, reinforce the values of collaboration and innovation, build employee engagement and trust, and inspire employees to do their best work and to think of the client as a great place to work.

In addition, IC should engage and inspire all levels of stakeholders with a continuously evolving corporate narrative that drives globally consistent execution of best practices through engaging communications.

Creating concise, compelling and timely communications that utilize all available platforms and media including, but not limited to live events, written communications, round-table meetings, intranet messages, video, new associate onboarding, training and presentations is vital to keep employees on the pulse.

To build a great people experience, it’s important for IC to synthesize business language and complex information into clear, relevant messages and writing and editing with clarity of purpose, intent and broad perspective for a variety of internal audiences.

Building a tribe where extra-ordinary people work together to enable success and to realize their full potential, passion and competencies takes a multi-dimensional understanding and sythesizing of business objectives.

Fostering a team spiriti includes visualizing the actions that each and every person can take in order to contribute to the mission of the organization. It is effective and motivating to regularly post and share information about what a team or the organization has achieved.

A well-functioning internal communications system can motivate employees to work toward common goals. Internal communication presents a valuable opportunity for companies to understand their workforce better.

Talking to employees is a key business function that inspires and aligns our whole organization.Effective internal communication is a powerful force that leads to a 40 percent increase in customer satisfaction, a 30 percent increase in profitability, and a 36 percent increase in the overall performance of a company.

Building A Content Strategy for Internal Communications

As a global internal communicator, you need to be able to communicate issues to internal audiences in their own language about issues that matter to them.

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Given the highly matrixed and globally dispersed nature of the workforce, you need to strike a balance between communicating issues that are common to the whole organization and those that are locally relevant in order to foster a spirit of engagement. Continue reading →

Redefining the Publishing Model in Zimbabwe

There has been a terrific amount of tumult in the publishing sector in Zimbabwe. Many of the old publishing models are no longer fit for purpose. Surprisingly, there has never been a concerted national effort to fix the publishing system.

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While new technologies such at the Internet and social media have been blamed for killing the reading culture in Zimbabwe, publishers have not stepped up to provide new ways of thinking about publishing.

Continue reading →

How to Create Internal Content that Employees Care About

Internal communications need to prove that they are contributing to business strategy. It’s more than just creating content assets. Instead, it needs to prove that it can galvanise people behind business goals

At the core of internal communications is the idea that people are vital to achieving strategy. That’s why its important to create memorable and meaningful content that delivers through getting employees more connected and engaged to bring out their best. Internal communications needs to enable and orchestrate content across silos and teams.employee-engagement-activities-700x430

To create useful content, internal communications should develop a deep understanding of employees – one that evaluates both quantitative and qualitative factors. Continue reading →

A Storytelling Approach to Internal Communications

Stories affirm who we are. We all want affirmations that our lives have meaning. And nothing does a greater affirmation than when we connect through stories – Andrew Stanton, Toy Story  

The biggest challenge for internal communications is that we are competing for attention of employees with everything. To counter this information overload and promote engagement, we need to publish content with life, impact, variety, and colour.

In order to build a connection with employees, to make them care, we need to be willing to step outside of the established internal communications playbook.

Great communications makes a big difference in a company. It’s highly correlated with employee engagement, responsiveness, productivity, and success. To have a great communications environment, you need the right tools, the right intentions, and the right habits. Good communications depends on three things. The right tools, the right intentions, and the right habits. Continue reading →

Internet Governance: Protecting an Open, Accessible, and Free Internet

Internet Governance plays a key role in protecting an open, accessible, and free Internet is critical for political, economic and social development. However, despite the rapid growth of the Internet in Southern Africa, there are many activities and policies being shaped globally but there is no strong Southern African voice in those processes.

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In 2005, the UN-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society defined Internet governance as “the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programs that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.” Continue reading →

Why Framing Social Media Messages Matters for Non-Profits

How do you shift attitudes and behaviours using social media? How do you think through your messages in a way that simplifies complicated ideas in an age where everything has become so ephemeral? How do you spark interest and engagement on any issue that may otherwise be drab? Do you want to change the way people talk and think about an issue?

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To be effective on social media, civil society organisation (CSOs) need to think through their messages thoroughly. How CSOs construct their messages is correlated to the amount of engagement they are able to garner on social media. Continue reading →