A proactive return to the workplace: 3 x 3 concrete tips to keep in mind in your change communication

How to take a proactive approach and plan a return to the workplace in a new, unknown, normal?

One country at a time, we will at our turn start planning the return to workplaces that will have changed. We have the opportunity to take control of the situation and organize a responsible re-opening. A successfully planned and executed return will ensure the safety of employees, but also engagement and motivation.

The questions remains: How?

To help you in this task, Open invited two experienced industry leaders, Sizwekazi Jekwa Mdingi from Absa Group and Beenu Thomas from Carlsberg Group, to discuss what concrete actions they are taking to prepare for a responsible return.

In the webinar, Open’s Anna Porko interviews Beenu and Sizwekazi, and guides a discussion on the factors contributing to what is needed of communications in the transition, and what we can -and should- do to address those needs.

Listen in for concrete tips to help you take control of the return, on three different levels:

  • Leadership communication
  • Equipping managers
  • On the floor


How to make your virtual participants care about your content?

Want to learn how to engage your virtual audience better?

Then look no further. We are pleased to bring you a webinar that gives practical tips and tricks to just that.

In this webinar, you meet two experienced storytellers, Megan and Lars, who will give concrete examples of how we all can apply storytelling methods in our virtual meetings and presentations, to keep the attention of our participants – like stories have kept our attention for thousands of years.

Lars is a Video Specialist and Master Storyteller at Open. He lives to capture people telling stories. Lars always focuses on finding the human factor when approaching any subject, because: ‘It’s the only thing that works’

Megan is the Founder and Lead Storyteller of Spendlove and Lamb. She uses stories to create an emotional way of visioning a new future for change and transformation. Megan creates tools for innovation and human-centered design teams to connect to their audience through deeper empathy and insights created by story and character.


Building the business case for sustainability: How LM Wind Power proved the case got GE Renewable Energy onboard the transformation journey – to go carbon neutral

Building the business case for sustainability:
How LM Wind Power proved the case got GE Renewable Energy onboard the transformation journey – to go carbon neutral

In this webinar, Lene Mi Ran Kristiansen, Leader of the Carbon Neutral Program at GE Renewable Energy, and Kristina Malther, Managing Director of Open Communication Cape Town, will bring you practical advice on:

  • building the business case for sustainability
  • the impact created by a strong union between Internal Communications and EHS
  • the importance of leadership buy-in and how to get it.

You’ll get direct input and concrete  actions on how to kick-start the sustainability journey in your organization. Join Lene and Kristina and get going with concrete actions that drive sustainability!


What can VR do as a channel for internal communications 
– and why you should consider introducing it into your organization

New technologies are making their way into our private and work lives. Virtual reality (VR) is no longer the realm of gamers and technology geeks alone. Instead, we see more and more marketing, communication, and education employing VR and augmented reality (AR).

With this evolution of VR we see a new, innovative and engaging communication channel emerging – but what can it do, when, and what should you use it for, and how expensive and difficult is it really? What about the ROI – is it worth it all?

Speakers:

Michael Neidhöfer
The CEO of ZREALITY, the provider of the world’s first marketing platform for XR apps & content, Michael is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully built several companies in his past, such as Netbiscuits, one of the largest mobile application platforms worldwide. Michael’s key expertise is building hyperscaling B2B SaaS/Cloud platforms and digital business models. Michael also supports several technology start-ups as a Business Angel and Advisor. He has been nominated 3 times as “Entrepreneur of the Year” in Germany.

Andreas Ringsted

The Head of Digital Experience at Open, Andreas has worked for +15 years creating engaging communication and experiences in external and internal communications, developing campaigns and initiatives for a long list of clients like the United Nations, the European Union, Pandora, Carlsberg, Georg Jensen, and Microsoft. Always at the forefront of technology and looking for innovative solutions, Andreas advises clients on digital solutions, across organizational levels and functions.


How VR can add value to internal communication

And why you too should consider introducing it into your organization

In this 45-minute webinar facilitated by Kristina Malther, Michael Neidhöfer and Andreas Ringsted discuss the value of VR in internal communications and answer your questions on the topic.

New technologies are making their way into our private and work lives. Virtual reality (VR) is no longer the realm of gamers and technology geeks alone. Instead, we see more and more marketing, communication, and education employing VR and augmented reality (AR).

With this evolution of VR we see a new, innovative and engaging communication channel emerging – but what can it do, when, and what should you use it for, and how expensive and difficult is it really? What about the ROI – is it worth it all?

Michael and Andreas will discuss the topic for 30 minutes, with Kristina opening the arena for questions and comments both during and after.

Time: Thursday 12th December 2019, 15:00 CET (GMT+1)

You can expect insights into the value VR can provide, where it is best applied, what the technology doesn’t bend to, and how to evaluate (and influence) your organization’s readiness for adopting new channels and methods – such as VR.

You can join the complimentary webinar by registering through this link:

http://bit.ly/35Iif3a

Speakers

Michael Neidhöfer

The CEO of ZREALITY, the provider of the world’s first marketing platform for XR apps & content, Michael is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully built several companies in his past, such as Netbiscuits, one of the largest mobile application platforms worldwide. Michael’s key expertise is building hyperscaling B2B SaaS/Cloud platforms and digital business models. Michael also supports several technology start-ups as a Business Angel and Advisor. He has been nominated 3 times as “Entrepreneur of the Year” in Germany.

Andreas Ringsted

The Head of Digital Experience at Open, Andreas has worked for +15 years creating engaging communication and experiences in external and internal communications, developing campaigns and initiatives for a long list of clients like the United Nations, the European Union, Pandora, Carlsberg, Georg Jensen, and Microsoft. Always at the forefront of technology and looking for innovative solutions, Andreas advises clients on digital solutions, across organizational levels and functions.

Facilitator

Kristina Malther

The Managing Director of Open CPT, Open’s subsidiary in South Africa, and co-founder of Open, Kristina is an expert in internal- and change communication. She has complemented her master’s degree in Communication and Psychology with training in project management, systemic leadership, MBTI/typology, coaching and facilitation. Kristina has more than 15 years’ experience as a consultant, advisor and leader.

Michael and Andreas will discuss the topic for 30 minutes, with Kristina opening the arena for questions and comments both during and after.

Open is the leading internal communication agency

We combine strategic and creative communication to get everyone engaged in reaching corporate goals. We work closely with our clients to understand their needs and corporate culture, and we put their employees at the centre of everything we do.

How VR can add value to internal communications

and why you too should consider introducing it into your organization

In this 45-minute webinar facilitated by Kristina Malther, Michael Neidhöfer and Andreas Ringsted discuss the value of VR in internal communications and answer your questions on the topic.

New technologies are making their way into our private and work lives. Virtual reality (VR) is no longer the realm of gamers and technology geeks alone. Instead, we see more and more marketing, communication, and education employing VR and augmented reality (AR).

With this evolution of VR we see a new, innovative and engaging communication channel emerging – but what can it do, when, and what should you use it for, and how expensive and difficult is it really? What about the ROI – is it worth it all?

Michael and Andreas will discuss the topic for 30 minutes, with Kristina opening the arena for questions and comments both during and after.

Time: Thursday 12th December 2019, 15:00 CET (GMT+1)

You can expect insights into the value VR can provide, where it is best applied, what the technology doesn’t bend to, and how to evaluate (and influence) your organization’s readiness for adopting new channels and methods – such as VR.

You can join the complimentary webinar by registering through this link:

http://bit.ly/35Iif3a

Speakers

Michael Neidhöfer

The CEO of ZREALITY, the provider of the world’s first marketing platform for XR apps & content, Michael is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully built several companies in his past, such as Netbiscuits, one of the largest mobile application platforms worldwide. Michael’s key expertise is building hyperscaling B2B SaaS/Cloud platforms and digital business models. Michael also supports several technology start-ups as a Business Angel and Advisor. He has been nominated 3 times as “Entrepreneur of the Year” in Germany.

Andreas Ringsted

The Head of Digital Experience at Open, Andreas has worked for +15 years creating engaging communication and experiences in external and internal communications, developing campaigns and initiatives for a long list of clients like the United Nations, the European Union, Pandora, Carlsberg, Georg Jensen, and Microsoft. Always at the forefront of technology and looking for innovative solutions, Andreas advises clients on digital solutions, across organizational levels and functions.

Facilitator

Kristina Malther

The Managing Director of Open CPT, Open’s subsidiary in South Africa, and co-founder of Open, Kristina is an expert in internal- and change communication. She has complemented her master’s degree in Communication and Psychology with training in project management, systemic leadership, MBTI/typology, coaching and facilitation. Kristina has more than 15 years’ experience as a consultant, advisor and leader.

Michael and Andreas will discuss the topic for 30 minutes, with Kristina opening the arena for questions and comments both during and after.

Open is the leading internal communication agency

We combine strategic and creative communication to get everyone engaged in reaching corporate goals. We work closely with our clients to understand their needs and corporate culture, and we put their employees at the centre of everything we do.


A preview to ChangeComm:
The power of storytelling in organizational transformations

How do we solve for business leaders’ biggest challenges, and what is on their agenda today? What does culture have to do with competitive advantage and how can stories affect it? And, how can we drive behavioral change?

You can expect insights into transformation in the face of disruption; the role culture plays in organizational change; and how to drive behavioral change through stories.

Speakers:

Mark Lloyd

The Director of Client Strategy for Avanoo, a culture story technology platform, Mark works with some of the world’s leading companies to help them understand how stories can create positive impact in their organizations. Mark and Avanoo are trusted partners to companies like Google, Toyota, and Roche. Prior to joining Avanoo, Mark spent over 12 years researching storytelling with thought leading organizations such as The New York Times and Conde Nast.

Alexander Stephanou

The CCO of Open, a global employee communications agency, Alexander has 10+ years of experience working with commercial excellence, strategic HR and leadership in large, international enterprises and small, fast-growing businesses. Alexander is the author of several papers, a frequent speaker at webinars and conferences with contributions to, among others, HR People + Strategy’s Annual Conference, Bersin by Deloitte’s Annual Conference, AHRMA’s Annual Conference and HR People + Strategy’s Strategic HR Forum.


Open webinar storytelling in organizational transformations

The power of storytelling in organizational transformations

webinar storytelling in organizational transformations open communication

How do we solve for business leaders’ biggest challenges, and what is on their agenda today? What does culture have to do with competitive advantage and how can stories affect it? And, how can we drive behavioral change?

Mark Lloyd and Alexander Stephanou will discuss storytelling as a driver of organizational change in this 45-minute webinar.

You can expect insights into transformation in the face of disruption; the role culture plays in organizational change; and how to drive behavioral change through stories.

 

You can join the complimentary webinar here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2918060280755021323

Time: Tuesday 10th September 2019 16PM CEST (GMT +2)

Speakers:

Mark Lloyd

The Director of Client Strategy for Avanoo, a culture story technology platform, Mark works with some of the world’s leading companies to help them understand how stories can create positive impact in their organizations. Mark and Avanoo are trusted partners to companies like Google, Toyota, and Roche. Prior to joining Avanoo, Mark spent over 12 years researching storytelling with thought leading organizations such as The New York Times and Conde Nast.

Alexander Stephanou

The CCO of Open, a global employee communications agency, Alexander has 10+ years of experience working with commercial excellence, strategic HR and leadership in large, international enterprises and small, fast-growing businesses. Alexander is the author of several papers, a frequent speaker at webinars and conferences with contributions to, among others, HR People + Strategy’s Annual Conference, Bersin by Deloitte’s Annual Conference, AHRMA’s Annual Conference and HR People + Strategy’s Strategic HR Forum.

Facilitator:

Kristina Malther

The Managing Director of Open CPT, Open’s subsidiary in South Africa, and co-founder of Open, Kristina is an expert in internal- and change communication. She has complemented her Master’s degree in Communication and Psychology with training in project management, systemic leadership, mbti/typology, coaching and facilitation. Kristina has more than 15 years’ experience as a consultant, advisor and leader.

Mark and Alexander will discuss the topic for roughly 30 minutes, with Kristina opening the arena for questions and comments both during and after.

Open is a leading employee communication agency

We combine strategic and creative communication to get everyone engaged in reaching corporate goals. We work closely with our clients to understand their needs and corporate culture, and we put their employees at the center of everything we do.

How do we solve for business leaders’ biggest challenges, and what is on their agenda today? What does culture have to do with competitive advantage and how can stories affect it? And, how can we drive behavioral change?

Mark Lloyd and Alexander Stephanou will discuss storytelling as a driver of organizational change in this 45-minute webinar.

You can expect insights into transformation in the face of disruption; the role culture plays in organizational change; and how to drive behavioral change through stories.

 

You can join the complimentary webinar here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2918060280755021323

Time: Tuesday 10th September 2019 16PM CEST (GMT +2)

Speakers:

Mark Lloyd

The Director of Client Strategy for Avanoo, a culture story technology platform, Mark works with some of the world’s leading companies to help them understand how stories can create positive impact in their organizations. Mark and Avanoo are trusted partners to companies like Google, Toyota, and Roche. Prior to joining Avanoo, Mark spent over 12 years researching storytelling with thought leading organizations such as The New York Times and Conde Nast.

Alexander Stephanou

The CCO of Open, a global employee communications agency, Alexander has 10+ years of experience working with commercial excellence, strategic HR and leadership in large, international enterprises and small, fast-growing businesses. Alexander is the author of several papers, a frequent speaker at webinars and conferences with contributions to, among others, HR People + Strategy’s Annual Conference, Bersin by Deloitte’s Annual Conference, AHRMA’s Annual Conference and HR People + Strategy’s Strategic HR Forum.

Facilitator:

Kristina Malther

The Managing Director of Open CPT, Open’s subsidiary in South Africa, and co-founder of Open, Kristina is an expert in internal- and change communication. She has complemented her Master’s degree in Communication and Psychology with training in project management, systemic leadership, mbti/typology, coaching and facilitation. Kristina has more than 15 years’ experience as a consultant, advisor and leader.

 

Mark and Alexander will discuss the topic for roughly 30 minutes, with Kristina opening the arena for questions and comments both during and after.

Open is a leading employee communication agency

We combine strategic and creative communication to get everyone engaged in reaching corporate goals. We work closely with our clients to understand their needs and corporate culture, and we put their employees at the center of everything we do.

webinar storytelling in organizational transformations open communication

Webinar: The power of storytelling in organizational transformation

How do we solve for business leaders’ biggest challenges, and what is on their agenda today? What does culture have to do with competitive advantage and how can stories affect it? And, how can we drive behavioral change?

Mark Lloyd and Alexander Stephanou will discuss storytelling as a driver of organizational change in this 45-minute webinar.

You can expect insights into transformation in the face of disruption; the role culture plays in organizational change; and how to drive behavioral change through stories.

 

You can join the complimentary webinar here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2918060280755021323

Time: Tuesday 10th September 2019 16PM CEST (GMT +2)

Speakers:

Mark Lloyd

The Director of Client Strategy for Avanoo, a culture story technology platform, Mark works with some of the world’s leading companies to help them understand how stories can create positive impact in their organizations. Mark and Avanoo are trusted partners to companies like Google, Toyota, and Roche. Prior to joining Avanoo, Mark spent over 12 years researching storytelling with thought leading organizations such as The New York Times and Conde Nast.

Alexander Stephanou

The CCO of Open, a global employee communications agency, Alexander has 10+ years of experience working with commercial excellence, strategic HR and leadership in large, international enterprises and small, fast-growing businesses. Alexander is the author of several papers, a frequent speaker at webinars and conferences with contributions to, among others, HR People + Strategy’s Annual Conference, Bersin by Deloitte’s Annual Conference, AHRMA’s Annual Conference and HR People + Strategy’s Strategic HR Forum.

Facilitator:

Kristina Malther

The Managing Director of Open CPT, Open’s subsidiary in South Africa, and co-founder of Open, Kristina is an expert in internal- and change communication. She has complemented her Master’s degree in Communication and Psychology with training in project management, systemic leadership, mbti/typology, coaching and facilitation. Kristina has more than 15 years’ experience as a consultant, advisor and leader.

Mark and Alexander will discuss the topic for roughly 30 minutes, with Kristina opening the arena for questions and comments both during and after.

Open is a leading employee communication agency

We combine strategic and creative communication to get everyone engaged in reaching corporate goals. We work closely with our clients to understand their needs and corporate culture, and we put their employees at the center of everything we do.


Problem space boy flying wings

Personal best - staying in the problem space

tina legor problem space advisor

Tina Legor is a senior creative advisor at Open – she is the head of Open’s event panel, and with a solid track record of campaigns executed, is a trusted advisor on client projects. Tina has a knack for seeing the bigger picture: why we are doing what we are doing. Below, Tina shares some key lessons on the importance of staying in the problem space.

tina legor problem space advisor

Tina Legor is a senior creative advisor at Open – she is the head of Open’s event panel, and with a solid track record of campaigns executed, is a trusted advisor on client projects. Tina has a knack for seeing the bigger picture: why we are doing what we are doing. Below, Tina shares some key lessons on the importance of staying in the problem space.

Personal best - staying in the problem space

By: Tina Legor, Senior Creative Advisor (25 June 2019)

What’s the starting point for thinking about the problem space in internal communications?

We are advisors and need to see the bigger picture before going into solutions. We advise our clients and help them solve their specific internal communication needs. That's our purpose. So why do we need to stay in the problem space? We could just pull a solution from the catalogue, right? Also, why is it so difficult – to keep asking and figuring out what we’re solving? Both for us, and for our clients?

Good questions, can you try to answer some of them?

Yeah, let’s start with the first one: ‘Why do we need to stay in the problem space?’ – we can’t advise if we don’t ask several why’s and look at the bigger picture. It’s like working with no limits and creativity lives in the problem space.

The fear of failure often cripples creativity and you step out of the problem space and jump into quick solutions. But failure is more likely if you are too hasty to leave the problem space –so, jump onboard because the problem space is wide open until you close it. Work with no limits and keep on thinking and innovating. Define your goals before you leave the problem space otherwise it’s just production and it might not create great value for the client. In addition, once you have looked deep enough into the problem, the solutions are pretty much formed in the process”.

So why is it so difficult to do?

We often get clients asking for specific deliverables – and this is pretty natural. They’ve already arrived at a solution before calling us. If they want a video, we can jump right to it and create a beautiful film, storytelling and all. People may view it several times and share it on SoMe and everybody will sing hallelujah. But we missed out the fun time in the problem space, and don’t know if we are doing the right thing. We’ve spent no time discussing the big W’s – we’ve most likely done a pretty good video that creates a little extra engagement, but solves nothing.

Can you give me an example of a success with the problem space?

Yes of course. We recently had a great process with a client - it is still ongoing. We have together spent quite a bit of time plotting out all the initiatives on the communications agenda for the years ahead and strengthened the link between the strategy and values, mission and purpose. We’ve defined the main groups of stakeholders across the organization and defined what we wish to achieve through communication initiatives with the different groups - where we believe they are now, and where we wish them to move – and how best we move them there. This process has given us and the client a good overview of the coming years and together we have created a clear roadmap of what we wish to achieve and a process map on how to achieve it. This has been a really rewarding process.

Could you break that down into some concrete actions?

It’s a team effort and it isn’t done overnight. A great starting point is to ensure that you have the right people with the right knowledge involved at client side as well as the project team at the agency.

 

It could look something like this:

  • What is the business need behind communicating ie. why are we doing this?
  • Make the link between your project and the organization’s big view
  • Define your stakeholders – recipients of your communication efforts.
    Where are they now, where do you want to move them; how do you best reach them – why do you need to reach them?
  • Get an overview of what else is on the communication agenda and plan accordingly

 

By doing this, we can formulate strong goals for the project. This also creates something to look back to when you’re in the thick of a project, and you may be questioning why things are happening a certain way.

As a creative advisor, this gives me a broader view and perspective of the client and with this in mind, I can demonstrate the value of what I am doing. Now I can step out of the problem space and deliver solutions that fit the whole communication purpose. The goal is to get everyone connected to what we’re creating and build excitement from that.

 

boy flying wings


The strategic role of internal communication: How IC will continue to make an impact

Internal communication as a discipline has been moving from the role of a distributor of information and an engager of employees to a more strategic business function. What are the challenges in this move, and how to act on them?Mike Klein and Kasper Steensen will discuss this topic from their respective points of view in this 45-minute webinar. You can expect insights into what the alignment gap is and how it stands in your way; where engagement, the hot topic of the past years, fits in the picture; what we mean by reducing noise; and how being human can help you gain the trust of your audience.

Speakers

Mike Klein

One of the most visible voices and writers in the world of Internal Communication, Mike Klein is a Netherlands-based IC consultant with more than twenty years of experience. Mike has worked with major corporates including Maersk Oil, Cargill, Shell, Avery Dennison, easyJet, and Barclays, and has a strong focus on internal influence and qualitative research. An MBA graduate of London Business School, Mike is EMENA Regional Chair of the International Association of Business Communicators and principal of Changing the Terms.

Kasper Steensen

The CSO, partner and co-founder of Open, a Copenhagen based employee communications agency, Kasper has over 15 years of experience in working with internal communications, both as a field and in practice. He knows the ins and outs of the art, has advised large, global organizations such as Carlsberg, Novo Nordisk, Maersk, and Pandora, and has his finger on the pulse of what is moving in the field. He is a multi-artist when it comes to combining a strategic mindset with creative execution.


Meet James, your new colleague

[email protected]
M +45 5375 7121

Meet James, your new colleague

Dear future colleague,

 

It’s nice to (virtually) meet you. I’m reaching out from the comfort of my desk, considering what I should write about. What do you want to hear? What would I want to hear if I were in your shoes? I could sit here all day talking about how great it is to work at Open, but then this would become like any other glorified advertisement. If you are anything like me, you’ll want to feel how it is to be here. How does working for this company engage you on a personal level? So, I will tell you about my experience– and hope that you can relate.

 

I never played well in teams. I guess this comes down to my upbringing. I won’t bore you with the details here, but the end result was an attitude of ‘I can and will do this alone’. My freelance film career consisted of taking on far too much and pushing myself past the point of exhaustion. Recover, rinse, repeat. My first relationship with Open was within this time period, them being the client and me, the freelance film specialist for hire.

 

Did I expect much? Not particularly. It was simply another opportunity to make some money. As usual, I put my head down and started to work. Lunch was eaten behind the computer, and conversation was kept superficial. Business as usual. It was after a couple of shoots that I started to notice something different. There was an atmosphere here, and not a tense ‘who stole my post-it notes’ vibe. It was as though the entire office were alive. People chatted, help was offered, a genuine happiness consistently resonated within the walls.

 

I continued to freelance for Open over the years and would always look forward to coming back for the next project.

Even with my minimal hours spent there, I would still feel part of something when I returned, as though no time had passed at all. Open had become my benchmark, and as a result I found my skills improving as I pushed to make my own impact. Needless to say, when they offered me a fulltime position, I jumped at the opportunity. I liked the person that I was becoming.

Ironically, it took developing my career to help me realize the value of a work /life balance.

I credit this entirely to the culture at Open. Never had I been treated so humanely. The encouragement to develop myself both professionally and personally was a new experience, one - it turns out, I had been deeply craving. I could have the best of both worlds. In fact, both worlds helped each other to flourish.

 

At Open, we are all expected to take responsibility for our projects, pushing them forward to completion. While this falls on your shoulders, you’re not alone in your journey. There’s space to talk with others, help one-another to develop ideas and talk through complicated solutions. If your project requires a skill that you’re unfamiliar with, there is a whole office of resourceful people at your disposal. Cross communication is highly encouraged and in the process, you’ll find yourself picking up skills that you never even considered having.

 

It’s hard not to view the people working here as more than work colleagues, and I’m proud to call them my friends. We all bring our own unique style; styles which are explored and nurtured for being the assets that they are. Our diversity is held together by a common mission – to develop, to grow, to push ourselves to be the best creatives that we can possibly imagine, and more so, to find value in every day. When I look back at myself and the company, well... we’ve both come a long way.

 

So then, how does this make me feel? To sum up my experience with Open – I feel engaged! But more than this – I feel like I’ve found home.

 

Your future colleague, James