For the last twenty-seven years, Sympra has experienced the communications and media landscape evolve. What was in vogue at the beginning of the millennium does not make sense anymore. While demands for agile working methods, the opportunities and risks of digitization for medium-sized companies have been on top of the list from our clientele. Plus we have been aware of the aspirations of a digital workplace for more mobility, needs-based learning and work-life balance of our employees. Internally, we discussed flexible working hours and threw practiced meeting formats over the top. We imitated something what we thought was parallel to blockchain summits, discovered new methods such as design thinking and explored a potpourri of visionary lectures and events from around the world for our “Vision 2025”. We combated our clients’ crisis projects and delivered in good pace the demands of the rapidly changing times. It was sometime last year that we realized, it was high time to get to the heart of the matter with the ongoing transformation – often a part of the process and its driver too! This resulted in the conceptualization of Transforming Communication: the motto of our next phase.
(Photo: Sympra team at a design thinking workshop)
Explain the Inexplicable
Proof point 1: Unforeseen changes often do not follow time and space. They, in turn, add to existing communication challenges. Often we find ourselves in the middle of pressing deadlines with constant pressure from the clients to ‘think out of the box’ and deliver something radical. In such situations, it is more likely that our tried and tested formulae fall apart like a house of cards. At these moments we have to introspect and redefine our role as communicators and find a creative way to deliver.
The situation is indeed complex. This does not deter us! First of all, because we know our way around complex issues. When we accompany digital transformation for companies, it is imperative that we understand the issues, however, intense they may be. We have to keep abreast with the latest buzz words of the digital industry from Blockchain, IoT, Agility, Scrum, Disruption to Industry 4.0. We must know how to break down these jargon to “content made for everybody”. Therefore the need of the hour is to be nimble and respond to the shifting dynamics of the communications business. Otherwise, you run the risk of being left behind the curve. Therefore giving orientation is good. But perhaps not enough.
Torchbearer in the Black hole
Proof point 2: Communication is defined as not only a source of information but also a stimulant and a force that brings things together. It must anticipate the consequences of change – in terms of corporate culture, business management and social issues. This is an essential element of this transformation driven by digitization, which does not just affect individual industries or groups of people. It is not even a temporary phenomenon, it has no declared goal, no definable end. In fact, technological development fires a fundamental social change that affects everyone. In the fast-changing digital world: what is true today may not be still valid tomorrow.
(Photo: Sympra top management team)
For us, this means nothing less than helping communicators reinvent their way of working. To dare and attempt new things without much details or background. At times you may need to come up with spontaneous ideas and at other times indulge in long-term planning. You need to extend your resources to new methods and make the disruptive approach fruitful for you. And to set a good example when it comes to starting from scratch again. We have to to do this in order to continuously mitigate the unforeseen communication challenges of our customers.
Stroke of Luck or a Pitfall
Proof point 3: Despite all the prophecies of doom, let’s now claim that external consultants, thinkers, go-getters, supporters, catchers, implementer in other words – people like us – are still needed! In the meantime, it also makes sense to try your hand at your own company first, before applying it to expensive outsiders like service providers. There’s a common trademark for all us PR professionals – we are trained to try out, fail, get up and keep going. We are well accustomed to sudden entries into projects to expect fast, targeted, individual and, of course, previously unseen solutions.
Speed and customer orientation – this is the currency of the new, digital age and values that are a part of our DNA. There is no doubt about it: transformation with its new face demands constant attention and a high degree of adaptability. Achieving this is extremely exhausting and will force us to reinvent ourselves again and again. This means to take on new avatars – in the true sense of the word. We may end up losing our trusted patterns of thought and behavior but we gain the freedom to actively participate in shaping change. Transforming Communication – that is Sympra’s mantra from 2019 onward.