CIPR Diploma

PR Academy

Shaping excellent internal communication practices with middle managers in an international organisation.

CIPR Diploma August 2008

Executive Summary
The British Council is the United Kingdom's cultural relations agency operating in 109 countries with headquarters in London and Manchester. This project looks to identify key issues and unresolved questions with regard to internal communications and the organisation’s middle managers. The following points emerge from the research:

internal communication (IC) is the strategic management of interactions and relationships between an organisation’s strategic managers and its internal stakeholders

the value of IC is to help deliver business ends by enabling employees to turn strategy into action recognise how their decisions and actions impact the rest of the organisation

knowledge of the communication needs of the stakeholder group and its preferences is important to ensure IC meets employee needs and is not seen as contributing to information overload

managers are critical bridges and cascade briefings depend on their competence.

The research makes eight recommendations under three headings: targeting middle managers; the role of senior and supervisory managers; a communication framework.

The recommendations propose: 1. carrying out analysis to segment the middle management audience 2. reviewing the fit between the corporate and local intranets 3. forming a strong partnership with the local communicators’ network 4. commissioning of articles to allow middle managers to connect with the world outside the organisation 5. training of managers 6. establishing agreed communication principles and standards 7. strengthening systems for feedback and in particular to establish a mechanism that allows routine monitoring by the Executive Board 8. implementing routine evaluation of internal communications.

i

Table of contents
Table of contents i

Chapter 1
1.0 1.1

Introduction
1 1

Introduction Boundaries of the study

Chapter 2
2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7

Literature review
2 2 3 4 6 7 7 8

Critical literature review Defining internal communications The strategic impact of internal communications Models of communication Making choices What people want to hear, the way they want to hear it The role of the line manager Summary

Chapter 3
3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7

Methodology
9 9 9 10 11 12 12 13

Methodology Empirical objectives Research methodology Research design Sampling Cross-cultural market research Reliability, validity and generalisability Data analysis

Chapter 4
4.0 4.1

Research results and Recommendations
15 15 15 17 17 18 16 19 19 ii

Research results and recommendations Key findings from the data analysis a) Ways in which middle managers receive information b) Information middle managers currently receive c) Relevancy of information middle managers receive d) Preference for receiving information e) Opportunities and expectations in relation to senior managers for dialogue

4.2

Managerial implications and recommendations a) Targeting middle managers

b) The role of senior and supervisory managers c) A communication framework 20 21 Chapter 5 5.0 Conclusions 22 Conclusions References List of appendices 23 25 iii .

Section 1 Introduction .

It is useful as a platform to build on and develop understanding through integration with further case studies and with large-scale survey research.2 Boundaries of the study What the study cannot do in light of its time bound nature is to go beyond the individual respondent in the organisation and conduct a case study in greater depth or follow up interesting leads that arise. 1. 1 . While three quarters of middle managers overseas feel well informed about what is happening in their country and two thirds overall are satisfied they have the information they need to do their job effectively. it is necessary to explore the theme of internal communications with the aim to identify key issues and unresolved questions as the grounding for the empirical work to be conducted to address the development of an understanding of the characteristics of the internal communications (IC) process in the British Council that can be effectively translated into employee-driven designs and standards to be applied throughout the British Council’s global network.Section 1 1. various models of communication and the roles of different players to address the particular challenges faced by the organisation. It is a small-scale exploratory study to explore issues in relation to aspects of internal communications and identify key issues in the organisation. This suggests there are potential tensions between the different levels of management. This gap is reflected in just over half of middle managers agreeing that their management team will deliver a successful long-term future for the British Council. its strategic impact.0 Introduction Introduction The British Council is the United Kingdom's cultural relations agency operating in 109 countries with headquarters in London and Manchester. As such. There are concerns with the opportunities that exist to feed views/issues/ideas upwards and a pronounced lack of confidence in feeling able to safe to speak up on issues and dissatisfaction with receiving feedback on views/issues/ideas communicated upwards. The critical literature review aims to provide an understanding of four themes concerning IC from some of the research and debate that has taken place in each of the areas: its definition. It conducts an annual staff engagement survey in partnership with Ipsos MORI. just under half feel satisfied they have sufficient information about organisational performance and that they are well informed about what is happening in their region and the British Council as a whole. Middle manager results are closer to more junior managers and non-managers rather than those of more senior managers.

Section 2 Literature review .

scope and focus are also highlighted by Welch and Jackson (2007. Welch and Jackson note a number of writers cite the same passage by Frank and Brownell (1989) which refers to organisational communication (2007. The gaps in IC theory and research on its mandates. p. 2 . p. p. They argue that organisational communication is concerned with communication in the abstract and corporate communication with communication as an instrument of management (2007. This distinction between theoretical and practical knowledge is also made by Kalla (2005) who. Kalla (2005. communication happens constantly within organisations and IC is a growing specialism in the field of public relations. Planned and managed communication is a common characteristic of the many definitions of PR. p.333 & p.305.178). This helps us understand that employees receive information from various sources. 2006. attitudes and behaviours of current employees”.15.179). p.306). prompting problem-solving and releasing creativity in a focused and purposeful way (Tench & Yeomans. Planning lays the foundations for success by providing a framework to stimulate thinking.0 Critical literature review Literature review With or without management. This is useful as it covers skills. However. This makes it important to be clear on a definition of IC to establish a platform to discuss why it matters in organisations and the British Council specifically. p. while recognising no clear cut boundaries exist.Section 2 2. but is very general and lacks any “planned use” element.181). very little attention is paid to it by public relations scholars (Tench & Yeomans. 2006. 2004. 2.16).337).304) gives a definition of IC as “all formal and informal communication taking place internally at all levels of an organisation”. p.184). p. defines four domains: • business communication – the communication skills of all employees (knowing-why and knowing-how elements although stress usually on the latter) • management communication – the knowledge sharing skills of managers with communication as a key managerial competence • • corporate communication – the formal corporate communication function organisational communication – the more philosophically and theoretically oriented issues (Kalla. practice and theory necessary to be a reflective practitioner and advance professional development of practice (Cornelissen. p. 2005.1 Defining internal communications Tench and Yeomans (2006.334) offer Stauss and Hoffman’s (2000) definition: “the planned use of communication actions to systematically influence the knowledge.

Section 2 Literature review Planning is taken into account by Welch and Jackson (2007.146) and there is now a substantial literature that suggests that IC helps to improve the likelihood of an organisation being successful (Robson & Tourish 2005. p. p. 3 . 2001. The value of quality IC and its relationship to organisational efficiency and effectiveness has been widely recognised (Quinn & Hargie. emotional identification is increasingly important as products and services look more and more alike (Dortok. The internal corporate communication dimension is defined as “communication between an organisation’s strategic managers and its internal stakeholders” (Welch & Jackson. p. 2.2 The strategic impact of internal communications It is commonplace to assert organisations today find themselves in a market environment. internal project peer communication and internal corporate communication”. Tench & Yeomans. Clutterbuck. These strategic managers are considered to be the senior management teams and will be considered again below. 2006. 2006. Why the British Council should focus on its IC is examined next.213). 2000. Tench & Yeomans. p. 2006. p. It also recognises the different levels where communication takes place.335).337).322.322. 2004. internal line manager communication. The definition provides an important starting point to tackle the middle management group in the British Council. internal team peer communication.48. p. p. where the conditions are continuously changing (Dortok. 2006.72) and for customers. that decision-making is taking place at lower and lower levels in organisations (Thomson & Hecker. p. p. Welch and Jackson put forward four goals for corporate IC: • contributing to internal relationships characterised by employee commitment (a positive attitude among employees defined in terms of individual identification and involvement with an organisation). p. This strategic management of stakeholders allows for “planned use” and differentiated groups of staff which is not apparent with the term “current employees” in Stauss and Hoffman’s (2000) definition. 2007.184) who take a stakeholder approach and offer “internal communication is the strategic management of interactions and relationships between stakeholders at all levels within organisations across a number of interrelated dimensions including.186).

marketing (focus on strategic objectives) and adds a fourth to combine all three and emphasise listening and taking on board contributions of staff. This parallels four eras of IC which Grunig and Hunt link to their four models of public relations: entertaining employees (press agentry). 2007. 2004.190). described four dimensions were derived from the common themes within the marketing.81) while saying no agreed theoretical model for effective internal communication was found. Through developing this better understanding the British Council would improve its position to achieve its goal to maximise the impact and effectiveness of its operations. 2. realistic journalism (focus on events). p. persuasion (two-way asymmetric) and open communication (two-way symmetric) (Theaker.190. p.3). environmental change. p.10). The value of IC is to help deliver business ends by enabling employees to turn strategy into action. and developing their understanding of the need for the organisation to evolve its aims in response to. and recognise how their decisions and actions impact the rest of the organisation (Welch & Jackson. 2002. p. Smith (2005.72. or in anticipation of. have access to the same information. 2001. Hewitt (2006. p. Taken together.Section 2 • Literature review promoting a positive sense of belonging in employees (the degree of identification employees feel with their organisation and their attitude to supporting the organisation). the organisation needs a framework that can help it shape an IC approach that fits with its international environment. p. the four goals equate to an overall objective of engaging employees with their jobs and their organisations (Welch and Jackson.188. • • developing their awareness of environmental change. Quirke. p. 2007. p. Clutterbuck. services and communications literature: • communication climate – built upon strong relationships between the organisation and its employees where two-way communication is prevalent 4 .166). Organisations have to ensure that people at all levels share a common understanding of the organisation’s strategic direction.3 Models of communication Needing more than simple compliance to implement its chosen strategy (Quirke 2002. informing employees (public information).9) citing Brandon describes three major phases of development: industrial relations (focus on people).

Welch and Jackson (2007. it would appear symmetrical two-way communication is considered central to successful internal communication.163). p. senior managers could have an idea of what employees want to know and so IC would be underpinned with two-way symmetrical communication to provide opportunities for dialogue.Section 2 • Literature review line manager communication effectiveness – plays a key role in employee motivation and loyalty • shared interpretation and goal alignment – employees must receive sufficient and useful information about their role in the organisation and their performance. p.234) who state its practicality and efficiency would be too low to be used more than sparingly in conjunction with more efficient media. critical theory challenges two-way symmetrical communication as incomplete on the grounds that it ignores power. p. They argue that one-way communication is appropriate where message consistency is important and if allied with encouragement of upward critical communication.187) note Grunig’s statement that internal mediated communication can be considered symmetrical if its content meets the employees’ need to know rather than the management’s need to tell. therefore organisations should share their successes with employees. and Mounter (2003. and the overarching objectives of the organisation • perceived external prestige – employees prefer to identify with a successful organisation. p. A point reinforced by Murgolo-Poore and Pitt (2001.53) noting employee relations has sometimes been limited to top-down communication and such one-way communication caused many employees to be intensely critical of management’s unwillingness to listen. p. influence and access (Tench & Yeomans.168169). The two opposing views would suggest a need for a middle road.265) stating to be successful a company needs symmetrical communication.187) also flag the practical impossibility for senior managers to meet and discuss strategy with all employees and so one-way communication from strategic managers to all employees is both unavoidable and necessary. p. However. p. Welch and Jackson (2007. 5 . 2006. This challenge is supported in a study of upward feedback in a healthcare organisation which found the response to the findings of the communication audit by senior managers suggested a tendency to over-critique negative feedback. 2003. with the people where it operates. while instantly agreeing with positive feedback (Tourish & Robson. dialogue in place of monologue. With Ni (2007.

depends on where content lies on these dimensions. 2002.139. Media choice.Section 2 Literature review This debate would seem to be converging on the importance of segmenting internal publics. resolve conflicts vs. staff groups. the more interaction is needed.169) lists a range of communication objectives: awareness. This is related to “media richness”. p. Towards awareness and understanding. state facts. strategic management: the dominant coalition. 6 . p. senior management teams). commitment. • • work teams (departments. and project teams. static information. choosing the communication process dependent on specified objectives. ranging from face to face to the intranet. middle managers or line-managers (directors. This approach to selection of media based on content of the message is part of Southwest Airlines communication guidelines (Theaker. wider awareness of the dynamics of upward critical communication and an emphasis on listening and acting. team leaders.184) applied staff groups resulting in the identification of different stakeholder groups at different levels in organisations: • • all employees. Welch and Jackson (2007. 2. multiple cues. and the efficient distribution of information. involvement.87). At some level managers have to choose a method or combination of methods for delivering messages from the personal to the impersonal depending on their objectives (Quirke. Smith. dynamic vs. just inform. These identify five dimensions: emotional vs. p. p. top management or strategic managers (CEOs. Richness is the capacity of different media to carry information and emotions and this depends on how much it allows of interactivity. factual content. Quirke states that the more an organisation needs employee involvement and commitment. As you move toward commitment. Differentiating internal stakeholder groups could be approached from a number of directions such as segmentation by demographics. build relations vs. the CEO as line manager). geographical location (Tench & Yeomans. 2004. divisions).170). the emphasis shifts to the quality of the relationship. 2006. • day-to-day management: supervisors. favourability. the focus is on the task of communication. p. contract with the organisation. 2005. language variety and social and emotional cues. division leaders.340). understanding. and the more time is involved. p. heads of departments.4 Making choices Quirke (2002.

Reflecting Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model. This focuses on what audiences do with media and says that media choice is selective to satisfy individual needs (Tench & Yeomans. it suggests staff require answers to the “I” questions before they move on to the “we” questions (Smith. concepts relevant to their situation. 2007. p.105).Section 2 Literature review Quirke (2002. 2006. 2000. The questions capture the interactive. 2005. educate and inform. p. p. p.22) four step process to help people convert information into action. p.238). to whom. Staff need to share a common understanding of the organisation’s strategic direction and link this to the local situation. with what content. People need to make data. amount. In many organisations staff are drowning in information and communicators need to develop more effective ways of getting the right information to the right people at the right time before employees are alienated by “junk mail” (Quirke. engage. ideas. The view of internal communication discussed above leads to distinctions based on: who communicates. the way they want to hear it Roger D’Aprix’s (1982) Manager’s Communication Model looks at workplace communication from the employee’s point of view: what do employees want and need in order to perform well and to be satisfied on the job? (Gorman. This raises questions for IC such as to what extent a staff group may have different IC preferences for content.188). context is important as meaning depends on shared context. One last theory of interest is uses and gratification theory. This generates four categories: wake up. and method to ensure they meet employee needs and are not seen as contributing to information overload (Welch & Jackson.123). and. reassure. It is based on supervisory communication responsibilities. expressed in six questions. 2.6 The role of the line manager It has already been noted that people are the most frequent source of information for managers but due to the size of the globally dispersed operations. He argues providing content is not enough.5 What people want to hear. relational process of addressing employee information needs and suggest the employee behaviours desired by the organisation. it is not possible for the IC 7 . 2. This is similar to Quirke’s (2002.163) discussing communicating projects and initiatives suggests looking at stakeholders in two ways – the level of impact of change on them and their level of initial interest or concern. p. 2003. p. for what purpose? There is one final consideration to make before deciding on the mode of exchange and interaction and that is the communication needs of the stakeholder group.2). in what way.

being entirely dependent on the leader's competence in managing group discussion. p.72) found a strong relationships between supervisors’ communication competence and both employee job and communication satisfaction. amount. managers become critical in bridging the different layers (Kalla 2005. The following points emerged as key issues: • internal communication is the strategic management of interactions and relationships between an organisation’s strategic managers and its internal stakeholders • the value of IC is to help deliver business ends by enabling employees to turn strategy into action recognise how their decisions and actions impact the rest of the organisation • one-way communication is appropriate where message consistency is important but needs to be allied with encouragement of upward critical communication • knowledge of the communication needs of the stakeholder group and its preferences for content. Clutterbuck (2001. Both Quirke (2000. p. However. p. p. Therefore.Section 2 Literature review function alone to provide effective communication for the whole organisation. Madlock (2008. This provides an area of focus between strategic management and day-to-day management and communication competence.124) showed that communication can influence employees’ perception of an organisation. van Vuuren et al. except as mechanisms to review current work tasks. especially in face-to-face format.73) states systems such as cascade briefings to gather feedback as well as inform are notoriously ineffective. (2007. 8 .48) argue communication is central to a leadership role and IC is a line management responsibility.309). through the managers who are seen to represent the organisation.7 Summary This review samples just some of the research and debate that has taken place in IC. 2. p.27) and Smith (2005. p. and method is important to ensure IC meets employee needs and is not seen as contributing to information overload • managers become critical in bridging the different layers and cascade briefings depend on their competence.

Section 3 Methodology .

Complex phenomena – qualitative data consists of detailed descriptions of events. What are middle managers expectations in relation to senior managers listening and acting? 3. The holistic dimension – through an emphasis on the contextualisation of data it places observations.4).1 Empirical objectives A number of research questions regarding IC arise: 1. and 5. It focuses on the unfolding of the process and takes account of what is learned throughout the research process as well as research outcomes and results. 2004. What are the ways middle managers would prefer to receive information about the organisation? 5.0 Methodology Methodology The literature review identified a practical and theoretical framework for identifying activities in IC. What is the nature and extent of supervisory communication to middle managers? 6. the interpretive and the realist (or positivist). 3. There were several reasons to use qualitative research: 1. 9 .Section 3 3.2 Research methodology Two worldviews inform most of the research in public relations. What are the ways in which middle managers receive information about the organisation? 2. Qualitative methods tend to be associated with the interpretive worldview (Daymon & Holloway. What degree does the information meet middle managers’ needs? 4. The British Council needs to explore middle managers expectations of IC and how well IC currently performs against those so the organisation can focus on how to best engage middle managers to deliver business ends. 3. experiences and interpretations into a larger perspective (Gilmore and Carson. p. Sensitive information – respondents may be unwilling to answer certain questions. 4. Malhotra and Birks. 2. 2000.159). emotional drives and motivations). p. 1996.22-23. What information do middle managers currently receive about the organisation? 3. p. situations and interactions between people and things providing depth and detail. Subconscious feelings – respondents may be unable to provide accurate answers to questions that tap their subconscious (values. What are the opportunities for middle managers to provide upward critical communication? 7.

p. telephone interview was used for gathering evidence. Advantages are: 1. They are flexible. beliefs. p. The respondent was contacted by telephone and the interview was put as a conversation to explore the topics which would be reviewed to collate common categories. and feelings on a topic (Malhotra and Birks. 3. p. They uncover greater depths of insights through concentrating on and developing an issue with the individual. and the quality and completeness of the results depend heavily on the interviewer skills. Topics were put forward in such a way that no attempt was made to direct the respondent. On the other hand.180). The main drawback is the researcher is not able to observe characteristics of the manager in their office environment that could help in the analysis (Malhotra and Birks. who was encouraged to talk freely about their experiences.4 Sampling The sampling design process includes six steps (Malhotra and Birks.180). small-scale and exploratory resulting in a free exchange of information. p.348-354): 10 . 2000. An interview guide was developed to ensure an adequate focus on the key aspects from the literature review.Section 3 Methodology In-depth interview is a major direct technique involving a personal interview in which a single respondent is probed by an interviewer to uncover underlying motivations. The discussions were conducted in an informal manner. Notes were taken of the interview which was also audio-taped and transcribed.3 Research design Given the geographical spread of participants and to document the richest possible detail within cost constraints. The disadvantages were dealt with through the use of semi-structured interview and a conscious effort when using probes to ensure that those probes never lead the respondent.182). The lack of structure makes the results susceptible to the interviewer’s influence. 2. attitudes. Probing was used as a means of stimulating the flow of discussion where necessary. 2000. 2000. 2000. disadvantages are: 1. The data obtained is difficult to analyse and interpret (Malhotra and Birks. The telephone method therefore misses out on the full range of communications. 3. 2.

July 2008. The sampling technique was judgemental sampling which relies on the personal judgement of the researcher rather than on chance to select sample elements and is frequently used in commercial marketing research projects. 4. a number between four and ten cases often works well. 5. p. 2. This research considered six cases from five different countries would contain the richness of detail necessary to answer the empirical objectives set above. 11 . There are no precise guides to determine the sample size. Some research texts recommend six to eight data units when the sample consists of a homogeneous group (Daymon & Holloway. The sampling frame was identified as individuals at middle management pay grade 7 (F overseas) and 8 (E overseas) with line management responsibility within the British Council. p.790) suggests. This was followed up by a telephone call to arrange a specific time for the interview. Perry (1998. 6. West Europe and North America and Contracts & Projects department in the UK • Time: the period under consideration – June. The target population was defined in terms of: Methodology • • Elements: the object from which the information is desired – middle managers Sampling units: the basic unit containing the element – as it was possible to sample the element directly this was the same as the element • Extent: the geographical boundaries – Near East and North Africa. while there is no ideal number of cases.163). Sample validation was met by the nature of the individuals contacted being clear from the outset and through early clarification in the interview establishing that the respondent was a middle manager as defined. Implementing the sampling process involved senior managers providing up to date information regarding middle managers.Section 3 1. An introduction was sent by e-mail to the targeted participants outlining the researcher’s role and explaining that the purpose of the study was to learn from their experiences within the organisation in respect to IC. 2004. 3.

Analytic generalisation (the contention that the theory has to be built. generative mechanisms and their contexts). Methodological trustworthiness (the extent to which the research can be audited). The nature of the depth interview also helped avoid sources of error related to response styles. Nevertheless. Respondents used English in the interviews although it was recognised that this did not necessarily mean that they could use the language to fully express themselves so the use of repeated questions to encourage the respondent to express themselves in multiple ways to the same question helped define the respondent’s field of meaning. 5. 3. and confirmed or disconfirmed. 4. Ontological appropriateness.120-122) propose six comprehensive quality criteria for validity and reliability in qualitative research: 1. 3. attention was paid to probing meaning in relation to attributes sought in IC. Contingent validity (describing broad.5 Cross-cultural research It was assumed that as the respondents worked for the organisation this would go some way to establishing equivalence of constructs.6 Reliability. Construct validity (how well information about the constructs in the theory being built are measured in the research). 12 . Multiple perceptions of participants and of peer researchers.1 Summary of interviews conducted 3. p. validity and generalisability Healy and Perry (2000. 6.Section 3 Case letter A B C D E F Organisation’s name BC Egypt BC UK BC Jordan BC Netherlands BC UK BC Madrid Interviewee’s position Manager Project Manager Manager Manager Project Manager Manager Methodology Date of interview 30/ 06/ 08 30/ 06/ 08 01/ 07/ 08 01/ 07/ 08 04/ 07/ 08 09/ 07/ 08 Table 3. before its generalisability to a population is tested). Through quickly establishing a relationship respondents displayed a willingness to answer all questions and the inclusion of questions that explored dissatisfaction addressed concerns of participants trying to provide answers they feel are sought by the interviewer. 2.

This was important in maintaining awareness of what the researcher was doing as well as building up ideas and reactions to the meaning of what was being coded.91). Methodology 2. 3. Triangulation of data sources through multiple interviews. 4. 3. p. The data display format was made by preparing a checklist matrix for each case with the specific dimensions listed horizontally and the respondents’ remarks vertically. The researcher went through the transcripts with various colour highlighters coding units that cohered (Daymon & Holloway. supporting evidence. 2000.105. p. Identifying research issues before data collection. p. Using prior theory from the literature to define constructs. Thorough investigation and analysis to identify certain phenomena and mechanisms means it was possible for a limited number of observations to be used as a basis for generalisation (Gummeson.7 Data analysis The whole transcript was read through for familiarisation. The basis for generalisation in qualitative study is analytical generalisation (Hyde. Concentrating in the report on why things happened and not just describing them and describing the context of the cases. 5. as well as maintaining the case study database and using triangulation mentioned above. making any parts of it available on request. to formulate an interview protocol that will provide data for confirming or disconfirming theory. At the same time marginal notes were made as the coding proceeded.183). This individual case analysis preceded cross-case analysis in the form of a content-analytic summary table.84). p. and broad questions before probes. 1994. 6. and describing procedures like case selection and interview procedures. Selection of methodology was carefully argued. This involved taking the original matrices for the single cases and generating a meta-matrix containing all of the reduced data enabling a focus on the content across all cases (Miles and Huberman. p.Section 3 Techniques proposed for addressing these criteria were: 1. 2004. 2000. This dimension of generalisation has more to do with the information richness of the cases selected.234). A combination of tactics for conclusion drawing and verification were used as analysis of data moved from the empirical to a more conceptual overview: 13 . Providing a summary of the contents of the case study database in an appendix to the report.

245).Section 3 • • Methodology Clustering (grouping and conceptualising things that have similar characteristics). 1994. move to identifying themes and trends and then integrating the data into an explanatory framework (Miles and Huberman. across-more-than-one-study propositions that can account for the “how” and “why” of the phenomena under study”. Making contrasts/ comparisons between sets of things.91. try out coding categories on it. p. • • These create a form of “ladder of abstraction” where you begin with a text. 14 . p. actor or activity in a more abstractly defined class). Subsuming particulars into the general (trying to locate the event. and Making conceptual/ theoretical coherence addressing the “need to tie the findings of the research to overarching.

Chapter 4 Research results and Recommendations .

a blog and video clips on the web. B and F specifically mentioned the Strategy 2010 site.0 Research results and recommendations Research results Five broad categories of major issues relating to the objectives given in the methodology were drawn from the research interviews: a) amount and method middle managers currently receive information about the organisation. e) opportunities and expectations in relation to dialogue with senior managers. d) middle managers preference for receiving particular information content to ensure communication meets their needs and is not seen as contributing to information overload. These included browser-based collaboration and document-management platform Microsoft SharePoint as well as email distribution lists. (B) 15 . Respondents also raised Chief Executive Martin Davidson’s communications including email.Chapter 4 4. c) the relevancy of the information they receive i. The following analysis focuses on these and uses the tactics for generating meaning discussed in the methodology for deriving the key findings of the research. Other general electronic media common to the cases overseas were regional intranets and regional electronic bulletins. b) particular content middle managers currently receive. In addition to these general channels. 4. overseas all mentioned channels specific to their area of work. be some network set up”.1 Key findings from the data analysis a) Ways in which middle managers receive information Electronic It is reasonable to say this is the main method for receiving information. Only C gave her weekly face to face management meeting as her first point of reception. (Senior Manager) has said it is an issue There needs to and perhaps they could do something on the intranet or SharePoint. within that. These were absent in the UK: “I am still lobbying to see if they will do that. All respondents mentioned email. the context and rationale behind the information and their role and specific actions they should take. the corporate online Office Bulletin. the intranet and.e.

” (C) “ if it is extra information that I can dispense with I do and I am quite ruthless about that I suppose. Print Three directly referred to the corporate quarterly print magazine BC Life with A and C referring indirectly.” (B) it’s supposed to be once a week but for various reasons some of them get cancelled. The exception was D whose meeting was scheduled once a month. Getting a meeting with her is not always possible. a web conferencing tool.” (A) “the quantity of those messages are way too much that I can’t really absorb them and I have to kind of prioritise.and video-conferencing with C also keen on Interwise. However. Information overload All except B spoke about information overload and this meant they filtered material: “you can get too much information too much information is the same as too little information because you don’t really have the time to access it all so you become very selective. the two UK cases highlighted problems: “ (B) “Usually this is face to face or via email if she is not available which is a big problem.” (F) 16 .” “She has responsibility for a large number of people and she does not have the time physically to cater to lots of project managers and people in her team.” (E) Conferencing tools C and D raised tele.” (E) Both of them were clear this was not a reflection on the manager but the work structure: “she has been given a huge span of command and I think about 20 people report to her and she is completely and utterly overwhelmed.Chapter 4 Face to face Research results Most had management team meetings scheduled once a week with a Senior Manager.

all referred to work-specific information so this is undoubtedly a major preoccupation the respondents bring to mind in evaluating what they receive. c) Relevancy of information middle managers receive All expressed difficulty with seeing how the information they receive is related to what they do: “on the business support side because you are not on the operational side it is very difficult to think in terms of how much any operational development would impact on your work.” (F) “(The Director) does a sort of a round up of messages that he gets from HQ. except for F. So you start to link it. they need to solve a puzzle or it was more information overload: “I think it is relevant to the level above me because there is really very little input that I would have into those kinds of decisions.Chapter 4 b) Information middle managers currently receive Research results Four cases referred to new procedures and policies. you know. these management briefs and things. You feel you are a bit away from all this.” (A) “I do tend to briefly read something and quickly dismiss it unless I think it is something that is particularly interesting or I would have contact with” (E) Another implication was the information was being passed on without any mediation which leaves respondents feeling it is inappropriate. new strategies or “high level stuff.” (D). However.” (B) 17 .” (C) Segmentation There was a clear argument for differentiated messages relating higher level messages to middle managers specific roles: “I always want to know what is new on the HR side or performance management and things like that but if I am not interested I won’t access it.” (D) “The long emails talk about something that is going on in the organisation. he circulates to the whole office so then everybody can read you get to hear different names you don’t know who they are really but then you think Oh yeah. it is too much information. that’s somebody from Corporate Strategy. At the same time. it becomes a little bit more tangible.” (A) “information from a senior level about the visions for the future for the Council and see how that percolates down to what I actually do in C&P.

” (B) 18 . C also approved of her region adopting a communication structure with dedicated communications people: “that made a difference because we used to cut the job of the communication manager and distribute them in little pieces. E likened it to a business continuity plan were there was a communication structure for managers. I think having them in the one job is very highly appreciative. feel more valued and so responsible to deliver.” e) Opportunities and expectations in relation to senior managers for dialogue Nearly all expressed concern: “it seems that there is a schism between the senior management and the people on the ground that are actually doing things. However.” (F) One comment reflected Hewitt’s “perceived external prestige” dimension: “As an individual I feel that we are doing is worthwhile when people recognise what you are doing I think it would boost people’s morale here because we are being valued more.” (D) d) Preference for receiving information There was a preference for face to face communication as being more personal therefore participants could be more direct. tele.” (D) “I am only interested in what the British Council can do for other people It should be focussing more outside itself.” (E) There was also a desire to connect to the world outside the organisation: “reflect the world we are living in now the real world environment.” (E) Knowledge/ training Understanding the value of communication tools and how to choose the best method or approach emerged from three respondents. respondents were realistic and recognised the role for other methods such as video-.Chapter 4 Research results “I would like it if it was shorter and more targeted.or web-conference and SharePoint: “ not my preferred way but I think it has its place in the Council because it enables people in other countries to have a discussion.” (C) “I mean it is worthy stuff but it is if it was any of my people I would have that connection.

and by extension the organisation. This calls for more analysis. the role of senior and supervisory managers in delivering corporate information.” (F) There seem to be two issues. There is a need to show how ideas and corporate concepts are associated with the things middle managers already care about.” (B) 4. a communication framework. As people identify closely with their area of work then “middle manager” is not the only distinction.” (D) “it wouldn’t be worth saying anyway because the decision would have been taken so no even the opportunity to talk about those kinds of things is not there.Chapter 4 Research results “There isn’t always sufficient consideration given to the people on the ground. project managers.g. There is a clear perception of “high level stuff” versus “what’s important for the job”.2 Managerial implications and recommendations The research recommendations coalesce into three areas: targeting middle managers. Middle managers relate to the environment in which they work. will not achieve its desired outcomes. This will give a sharper focus to communication and what it will do.” (C) told me then that whatever you are And over-critique of negative feedback: “they can’t take on board what you are feeding up if you try to really question the organisation or people high up you are seen to be a problem rather than someone who is genuinely concerned. 19 . Recommendation 1: Audience segmentation is critical. communication climate: “people fear that if you give feedback to your line manager they may give you a bad evaluation. a) Targeting middle managers The implications of the research are that messages are not getting through and so any communication.” (A) “somebody who came from the Executive Board saying we don’t hear up there. Internal Communications needs to identify groups with distinctive shared needs and characteristics e.

This would be an element of the communication framework below. They need to build strong relationships with their staff where two-way communication is dominant. Recommendation 4: D and F spoke of connecting to the “real world” and E talked of raising staff morale by the organisation sharing information on its external profile. use original customer/ stakeholder feedback. This would be in partnership with the communicators’ network. discussions such as on blogs and external content. 20 . They need to build in time and establish a targeted communication cycle using face to face and conferencing tools. an idea the researcher endorses. support and recognition rather than reflected by internal individuals iii) feedback evidence of what impact people actually did have These articles should address challenges overcome. Internal Communications needs to form a strong partnership with the existing local communicators’ network and equip them with the information to speak to staff. Recommendation 3: C mentioned “some occasions maybe send it to the communications manager in that country and let them decide who to send it to”. b) The role of senior and supervisory managers Senior and supervisory managers need to know how to tell the corporate story and set messages in a local context. It should seek to be complementary. connections made or innovative breakthroughs. One suggestion would be to explore the role of the corporate intranet as a portal. Managers also need to be aware of perception and attribution biases and their role in the effective management of diverse employees. It would be a starting point signposting to content on regional and other intranet sites.Chapter 4 Recommendation 2: Research results Internal Communications should review how the corporate and regional intranets fit. Internal Communications should commission articles that i) ii) link corporate concepts to how others are doing things.

Recommendation 7: Internal Communications needs to strengthen systems for feedback. It also uncovered the fact that upward feedback was weak. c) A communication framework The research showed the need for understanding the value of communication tools and how to choose the best method or approach. impact (outcomes). crucially. Recommendation 8: Internal Communications should implement routine evaluation of its programmes which assess their preparation (inputs). receive and respond to feedback.Chapter 4 Recommendation 5: Research results Internal Communications needs to train managers in perception and attribution effects and how to facilitate. internally. In particular. Recommendation 6: Internal Communications should establish agreed communication principles and standards. Reference points for these could be Southwest Airlines communication guidelines cited in the literature review and. they should look to establish a mechanism that allows routine monitoring by the Executive Board. implementation (outputs) and. English & Exams client service standards. 21 .

Chapter 5 Conclusions .

A true transition towards an internal communications strategy requires a focus on competences and resources. communication organisation. technology. This research provides an initial road map. and know-how as a resource.0 Conclusions Conclusions The usefulness of qualitative research is not determined by how many clients say something but by what is being said and how it is being said. To effectively deliver “the strategic management of interactions and relationships between stakeholders at all levels within organisations” requires internal collaboration with the whole chain of activities and people having to be co-ordinated and managed as one total process. and organisational knowledge management systems. It also contains the challenges that will be faced. The research findings in the previous chapter can be reasonably inferred and applied to the internal communications activities of the British Council. These include addressing issues such as communication orientation in managers. The detailed descriptions of events. it provides insight. it does not measure. situations and interactions between people give depth and detail providing a road map to help understand the complex nature of the field. The organisation must develop such resources as personnel. Both the organisation and middle managers are looking for things that convey value to them.Chapter 5 5. 22 .

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Appendices Appendices .

and the original recordings of the interviews are available on request from the researcher.Appendices List of appendices Appendix 1 Letter of introduction Appendix 2 Interview guide Appendix 3 Interview transcripts Appendix 4 Coding system Appendix 5 Sample coded transcript with marginal notes Appendix 6 Within-case checklist matrices Appendix 7 Cross-case content-analytic summary table Contact details of the respondents. notes taken during the interviews. 25 .

Appendix 1 Letter of Introduction .

As the final part of the course I am doing a project that looks in greater detail at British Council middle managers to learn from their experiences of internal communications and what features are important to them in this area. To achieve this. To do this more effectively. What you look for in effective communication and What you look for in the British Council specifically I will review our conversation to put together expectations. Yours sincerely. The discussion will be over the telephone and cover several topics: • • • • • Your work context. if you would like. as developing a better understanding of your needs will help put the British Council in a position to provide an even better approach that works for you.Gannon@britishcouncil. . Afterwards.org or telephone (+44 20 7389 4730) so we could make an appointment to speak at a time convenient to you. it would help me if I could record our conversation. I would be more than happy to provide you with a summary of my findings and conclusions. I would be very grateful if you could find the time to discuss your experiences in this area. My main objective is to gain a better understanding of your needs and priorities. Your role. Thank you in anticipation of your cooperation. Sources and types of information you currently receive. how well you think the British Council performs and to discover in what ways the British Council could improve its internal communications. My name is John Gannon and I am currently doing my CIPR Diploma in Public Relations.Dear X. priorities and experiences in a way that will hopefully enable the British Council to use them to better plan their services. I would be very grateful if you could contact me either by e-mail at John. I do hope that you feel able to contribute some time to support this project.

Appendix 2 Interview guide .

any other centres) 5. I have several topics that I would like to talk about with you. 3. 4. What do you do? 4. Could you describe the overall size and structure of where you work? (Elicit number of staff. ask if they would like a summary of the research findings and whether they would be willing to participate in further research on this subject. Introduce yourself and thank the respondent for agreeing to provide the interview and confirm that they are prepared to have the interview taped. Some prompts are provided but it may be necessary to ask the respondent to elaborate other responses in which case please probe using questions such as “Could you explain that please”. 2. Please ask all the questions below. Reassure the respondent that all tapes and individual results are kept strictly confidential. how organised in business units.Interviewer guidelines Interview format • 60 minute telephone interview with Near East North Africa (Jordan & Egypt)/ West Europe North America (Belgium & Spain)/ UK-based middle managers (Contracts & Projects Department) • The interview will be audiotaped Interviewer’s instructions 1. any management teams. please”. Questions To start I would like you to tell me a little about yourself 1. thank the respondent. What are the reporting relationships between the business units? (Elicit who individual reports to. When completed. Introduce the interview by saying: “This discussion forms part of a dissertation for a CIPR Diploma in Public Relations that wishes to learn from the experiences of middle managers within the organisation in respect to how internal communications work both to and from staff. What is your position in the British Council? 3. How long have you worked for the British Council? 2. whether individual is part of them) . “Could you give further details about that” or “Could you talk about that further. and I would be very grateful if you could provide as much detail as you can”.

Now I would like to talk about the process of internal communications where you are 6. How relevant is the information you receive? 11. How well do they make the connection between general information about the organisation's business agenda and your goals? Moving on to the performance of internal communications 17. What things would make you feel unhappy with internal communications performance? Thinking specifically about the British Council now 20. If you had to put the factors you mentioned in order from most important to least what factor would you put first? (Continue to elicit order of factors) 19. What opportunities are there for you to receive feedback on views/issues/ideas you have communicated upwards? 14. How timely is the information? 12. From who or where do you receive most of your information about the British Council? (Try not to prejudice responses but if necessary prompt by suggesting: . organisation’s/department/locations’ performance. How often do you receive information about the British Council? 9. their role and specific actions they should take) 8.e-mail. senior manager (what level?). How do you feel about the amount of information you currently receive about the organisation? Turning now to communications itself 10. What information do you receive about the organisation? (Try not to prejudice responses but if necessary prompt by suggesting: . What opportunities are there for you to feed your views/issues/ideas upwards? 13. Intranet. How satisfied are you that they express the organisation’s purpose and goals clearly? Why? 16. staff association. immediate manager. reasons behind major decisions. What is important to you in terms of effective internal communications? 18. grapevine) 7. team briefings. What features are you not happy with the British Council? . What opportunities are there for you to let the organisation know how you feel about things that affect you and your work? Looking at the communication relationship you have with your line manager 15. How satisfied are you with the way the British Council performs? Why? 21.organisation’s strategy & objectives.

When would you expect to receive this information? 25. How would you prefer to receive your information? 24. Are there any other ways in which you think internal communications could be improved? (Elicit specifics) Very interesting. that is all the questions I have for you. What features would satisfy you that giving and receiving feedback on your views/issues/ideas was working effectively? 26. What information would you like to receive about the organisation? 23. (Note response and contact details). I will be typing up our conversation and I would be happy to send you an executive summary of my findings and conclusions by the end of November if you would like. Well. Would you be willing to take part in further surveys about internal communications? (Note response) Well. goodbye. thank you very much for your time Is there anything we haven’t spoken about but you would like to mention? Thank you very much for your time once again. thank you. .Considering the future then 22.

Appendix 3 Interview transcripts .

I don’t what’s it like in terms of the organisation for the management teams? Do you understand what I mean there? . Egypt. we have something called Education and Employability and under this we have several projects including one with Al Adhab University [ ]. MRCP. one is Customer Service and one is Knowledge and Information. facilities support. And under Audience and Communications we have three sections: one is called Communications. we have about five UK staff and the others are teachers. Examination Services including all UK exams you’ve got teaching centre there obviously what are the (GCSE. I: How exactly is it organised other kind of business units? R: We have just changed the names of our business units so my initial unit was Central Services Unit now called Business Support Unit.] then we have Social and Cultural Partnerships. I: How do these business units work together? R: No.. everything). [ ] is called Manager Business Support Services and the function itself is to each office in terms of HR support. God knows what. Mon 30/06/08. We have Audience and Communications [. I: So you mention that this is for the Cairo office. The 198 relates to the whole Egypt operations. Business Support Services. Cairo. IELTS. premises. In Cairo we have two offices and in Alexandria we have one office. procurement. It supports other operational functions to reach the strategy sort of by providing certain services. About one hundred and something are local/country staff. Can you tell me what is the overall size and how is it organised in Cairo? R: Cairo office is about 198 people about 198 in the Egypt office because we support the Egypt office rather than just Abuja our site..Interview A.. British Council. the KIS [.] Social and Cultural Partnership. Then we have something called Go For English under Education and Employability and Go For English is mainly a web site in English to help people learn the English language and then we have the English language itself including the teaching centres.. Key: I indicates interviewer R indicates respondent indicates a pause [ ] indicates part of the audiotape that has not been transcribed (?) indicates a word that is not clear [ ] I: Things like how long have you worked for the British Council? R: You will be surprised 35 years. IT I: What exactly is your position in the Council? R: My title is support other operational functions within the support.

[ ] it consists of many more For example.. and teaching centre obviously. I am Grade F. it’s Director [ ] yes. there are others in Grade F there are others in Grade E and the Director obviously at I think Band 10 or something and Deputy Director. [ ] I: That is very interesting. there is another team called [ ] Management Network people about thirty two other people. we’re called Management Coordination Team and it comprises of a number of managers at different grades actually. there will be managers for Audience and Communications. I: How often does the Network Team meet? R: It used to be that the main team would hold weekly meetings but we have discontinued that and we communicate with them. What I would like to do now is talk a bit about the process of internal communications where you are then you have touched on it a bit. thanks Sondos. the outcome of the management coordination team meeting itself certain things where we think they need to be involved in we communicate with them. who are all these extra people then? R: There will be staff in other units I mean in our units again but at different grades. Education and Employability. the intranet. Are there any other types of teams? R: Yes.something like that? R: I think after each weekly meeting but I need to re-check that because I don’t send any note round.I: [ ] I’m sorry let me start again. Social and Cultural Partnerships. Is it just for Egypt or is it for the region? R: No. I: How often is that? Is it after each weekly meeting or once a month. the Management Coordination Team meets once a week.. We also have our own regional sort of website called Tawasul [ ]. office bulletin. Just thinking about yourself: from whom or where do you receive most of your information about the British Council. it’s for region [ ] and obviously the office bulletin. no. the organisation headquarters. a quarter. R: Usually BC net. do you all meet are you all part of a kind of leadership team? R: That’s right.. I: Thirty Two? So... Exam Services. every week they get a summary of the management coordination meeting. for example.so you’re Manager BSS. . I: So that’s a local intranet. I: So you are part of that team. I: So it’s a wider staff body? R: That’s right.

so PowerPoint. Do you get specific information about your job and what you should do this from this or you just read this information and decide what the action is necessary to take? R: Yes. I: What type of communities are you thinking of there? R: Like the HR community and Marketing community. [ ] . who is your immediate line manager? Is it the country director? R: It used to be the country director until the day before yesterday and now it is Reena Johl. if there are new jobs to be advertised. She is responsible for Audience and Communication as well as Business Support. You can access all the documents related to the system. I: Those are the principal ways that you receive information about the organisation as a whole? R: Yes I: What kind of information do you receive about the organisation? What kind of things come through these types of communications: the intranet. sometimes I find let’s say a sample job description which is related to what I am doing so I look at mine and see whether if this reflected in my job. a SharePoint.Tawasul is also developments that are happening in the region like projects that are going on. the bulletin. I don’t know what the difference is. For example if there is a certain initiative under HR files are announced. if there are developments on SAP we know about them. your regional intranet etc. every success story and sometimes you will find some helpful documents like a PowerPoint presentation about something that someone has used and they thought this might be helpful to others. you read. this sort of thing. R: Let’s look at for example. And if there is something that is relevant to your job for example. should it be. about learning and development and now about the new Performance Management System. HR now has a collaboration site. the office bulletin there are always announcements about anything that has been newly introduced. samples on how certain people completed their performance agreements I: If I am right this is all kind of general level information. some sort of point that we can access for example. you can access PowerPoint presentations. I: .. other helpful documents that’s on that Tawasul site? R: Yes.. I: So. most of the time this is what happens.R: And also if you are a member of any international sort of networks then you get communication from them either through a SharePoint and email if you are part of social community. interpret and then take action? R: Yes. I: Coming back to the way to get information do you ever get information sorry. if there are certain deadlines to be met then it is announced.

Even though the office bulletin is a very proactive document because it alerts you to something going on but again it depends whether you are interested in this or not. usually once a week. It depends on your job. you look at the notices and if there is something that interests you you follow it up. If he gets anything important from the UK from lets say from the Chief Executive Officer he will circulate it to ‘all staff’. Otherwise you just leave it. I: So how do you feel about the amount of information you currently receive about HQ or the organisation? R: I think it really depends on the person on whether you have an interest in accessing this information or not. he loves he sends a weekly sort of letter to ‘all staff’ where he summarises all sorts of success stories. I: We will look at the actual information itself now. my job a lot of the information is relevant because. I: How often do your receive information about the British Council? R: About the British Council Egypt I: And about the HQ? R: About the HQ it depends if he receives something that he thinks is relevant to other people then he will send it. So.I: Was information ever passed via the country director to you about the organisation or was it mainly through those R: Our current country director is a very good communicator talking he loves talking. I: So it goes like this: you get the email that tells you the bulletin is updated. So it is not proactive as such. I mean. A lot depends on how much you are interested in knowing about what goes on. R: That’s right. even though I have I an interest in HR or procurement and things like that but developments in other areas may impact on my area. I: What do you mean by that? . for some people I have an interest because I always want to know what is new on the HR side or performance management and things like that but if I am not interested I won’t access it. Not everybody would feel the same. it depends how much you feel any development elsewhere will impact on your work. for example. you go on. How relevant do you feel the information is that you receive? R: How relevant? Some information is very relevant. If. If it is any message even if not from the UK even if it is from someone else within Egypt for example that he thinks people will be happy to hear about or that it would be good to know about then he will always I: okay so that depends on the country director’s judgement then? R: Yes.

for example. I do not make a conscious effort to talk regionally unless I get something asking me for return. I: What about the timeliness of the information: do you think that it arrives at the right time in time for you to do things with it are you happy when it arrives? Is it always too tight a deadline? Is it after the event? What do you think about the timeliness? R: The office bulletin arrives in Egypt at 3 o’clock on Thursday. They are more interested in the day to day happenings around whether people have certain problems and things like that. when would you think would be a better time for it to come out then? R: I think earlier [ ] either one day before or if on Thursday then a bit earlier so people have more time to go through it. ? region or to the organisation? Let’s have a quick look at I: Either country level or beyond . So it means that if I do not access it when it arrives I may not read it until after the weekend. I: What kind of opportunity is there for you to feed your views or issues or ideas upwards? R: At the country level or the country level first. I: When you say lower down the hierarchy what kind of people are you talking about? R: Let’s say. R: At the country level mostly during the performance reviews now with the revised performance management system this is going to happen four times a year then you have more opportunity to air any concerns with you are line managed and things like that. They forget that this is a bigger office in the region and some of the results that they want if they want meaningful information they should give me more time. You feel you are a bit away from all this. it is usually at very short notice. When I get something asking for a return. what about regional level or corporate level? R: It is very difficult. I: So. is that because of choice or because you don’t see those opportunities? R: I don’t know whether there is an opportunity. It depends on how much you want to be proactive about it [ ] I: So. This is when many people leave the office for the weekend for the weekend. I: You say you don’t usually get involved. And either I access it or I don’t. you always have an opportunity to air a concern if there is one but it is not a concern about the way you are line managed it’s a concern about things happening around which are stopping you from doing the right thing you may have an opportunity there. the answer is I don’t know. particularly on the business support side because you are not on the operational side it is very difficult to think in terms of how much any operational development would impact on your work. I: Before the new system how often? R: Not much but actually in the weekly meetings that we have.R: I mean that some people let’s say maybe a bit lower down the hierarchy may not feel this is relevant to them.

with the cost tracking exercise: after we sent the data they sent us a summary of where the cost tracking stands whether we have achieved any savings or not. for example. But I can’t really blame my line manager for not giving me enough information. I usually get feedback. I: So now you think that the new performance management system makes the connection between that general information about the organisations business agenda and your goals. Sometimes when I am sleeping at night and I am feeling unhappy about something I tell myself ‘why don’t you write something in the Horizon to air out your concern’ but it never happens. for example. How satisfied were you at that time that they expressed the organisations purpose and roles clearly? R: In the area I am because it is Business Support I have an opportunity because I attend the weekly meeting this is where I come to hear about what others are doing and get explanations and objectives or plans we are heading towards. There are means.I: And what about the opportunities for getting feedback on any views or issues or ideas you have communicated upwards? R: If I communicate an idea to let’s say country director or a colleague. We get all communications about the regional plans although I did not always access it as I did not feel that it was relevant to what I was doing as a business support section. What are opportunities are there for you to let HQ know about how you feel about the things that affect you in your work? R: I have never explored this one. I usually get an answer and if I am very persistent. What is important to you in terms of effective internal communications? . You think it makes it clearer. usually. I: This will be a bit difficult as you have changed your line manager so I want you to think back to when you were line managed by the country director. do you ever get feedback as to what happened to it? R: Yes. yes? R: I think it helps link what I am doing with some other goals it makes you feel part of the whole rather than a separate thing which other people don’t see. I: This will relate to the final question I think. I: What about this information that you send to regional level. Now with the revised performance management system I see the need of linking what I am doing with what is happening elsewhere. I: I’d like to move onto the performance of internal communications a bit more generally now. In my view I think you can get too much information and I think that too much information is the same as too little information because you don’t really have the time to access it all and so you become very selective about it all. There is information but I don’t always use it. So I find this a positive improvement. For example. sometimes people forget about it so I send a reminder and say can you please let me know. like the magazine called? The Horizon is it still the same name? I can’t what is the there is an opportunity there that some people make use of but I have never made use of it.

I will listen to the message but email. R: The reason I prefer them to face to face communication but again it depends on what purpose says. although I accept them I don’t know what to do in order to have (?) input. When do you use these? Why is something more beneficial than another? How can you use this site in a way that is attractive to other people? For example. so how do you make this? It is no good getting some people to use something when you don’t know why they are using this something. I see that some blogs can have a human voice to them for example. Because. I feel that face to face communication is more effective because you feel more important and in this way more responsible. you might forget the others. if you get a general message that is to everybody. you might remember some aspects. if it is not addressed to me personally I might just wipe it. personally addressed emails would be first. even though you might have taken some notes but still. I: If it is something to do with a task you prefer email but if it is something to do with general information about how well the council is performing would you prefer email or would you prefer face to face? R: Face to face because I will understand. I want to understand the value of this mechanism: why this and not that. personally addressed. face to face communication. they can be dynamic. I myself don’t understand what they are so. I: So. . I feel that the SharePoints that are being used at the moment will be a good means of communicating like the Wiki and things like that if people understand what to do with them. If you had to put them in order of most important to least important what would you put first? R: I would put emails as a very good tool as communication if addressed to you. What is the value? What is the added value? I: In terms of some of the things about messages being clear. I think that it has got to get some sort of being personally addressed. You quickly read about this and start accessing but I want to be an active contributor to things. I think that the message has got to be clear. If you want to do me a number of things then email is a record of what is required so it is not left to your memory. I: What sort of tools are you thinking about? R: Like this Wiki thing. SharePoint etc. I don’t know.you will not necessarily treat it with the same importance as when you receive something which is addressed to you. face to face communication. it’s not there on your computer to remind you of everything that needs to be done. I: Is there anything else that you can think of? R: I think that people need to be trained on how to use other tools that are more modern tools of communicating and understand their value because at the moment people start using tools in headquarters they tell you something about it in writing. like collaboration sites.R: Effective internal communications. Whereas. let’s say a message to all staff .

I think that the fact that he talks about him wanting he talks about what he wants what he wants people to do this personalisation makes me feel that it is a real message [ ] I: What kind of features again are you not happy with? [ ] R: In terms of communications? My only concern is exercising other people’s mistakes I: So broadcasting emails? . If there was something that supplements the SharePoint site. I: You mentioned improvements in terms of the CEO. signalling that something new has come up then this might help because you cannot just access the SharePoint everyday to see if something new has come in or not and remembering if this was there before or not. If you don’t take the initiative then you will not access them. I: So. I: So how satisfied are you with the way that the British Council performance in terms of R: I think that it is the clarity. alerting. He produces a feel for wanting to do something. What is the improvement that you are seeing there? R: Generally. If someone has a problem. then talk to the person himself rather than to culture where the main language is not English so sometimes if people’s English is not very advanced enough they might send a message which is hurting to other people when they did not really mean it. Even though the council is improving a lot in terms of the number of messages that we get lets say from the CEO I am sure that there are some improvements bit I don’t know what they are. so something to tell you a certain development has happened. I: He encourages a feel for wanting to do something in you? R: Yes. I attach very high importance to communication. So. what things would make you feel unhappy with internal communication performance? [ ] that they send it to R: What makes me unhappy sometimes if someone has a complaint everybody else. I: Is this to do with the frequency of the messages or something ? and they would have meant something else.I: What about the SharePoints you mentioned? R: The SharePoint depends on you taking initiative to access them. I feel it is quite motivating sometimes. Even if you keep quiet about something there is a message to that. Also there is an issue that you might not know yourself but we are in a everybody. I: So again specific emails R: That’s right. he keeps you up to date on what is going on elsewhere and in his own area. I do not know what solution is but it happens when you come to talk to them ‘how do you say that’ internal communications? R: I think communications generally is a very important tool for getting things happening.

get them to think about what tools they use for certain messages or certain communications. I: When you say ‘people’ what people are you thinking of there? R: Everybody. I think we need to have more shared documents between everybody in the world to learn from everywhere for example. Actually. regional director or your new line manager now? R: My line manager has been communicating quite often. I: We are moving into the final part looking at the future now. I: Well.what initiatives are going on any would you like to receive now: this is HQ level now or regional? R: I think the same kind of information as at present new things happening. any new people coming. people moves things like that. I: What about the information from regional level? R: From regional level I think there is just enough from the director from the regional website. Sometimes we don’t read it all. I think we need someone to train people there or to let them know the difference between this and that. initiatives elsewhere. any change. What kind of information . I: And what kind of ways do you think you could improve doing that? SharePoint but . Perhaps I am more privileged because I have access to these weekly meetings so I always know what is going on. any people going. Everybody who needs to communicate. I: You put very little emphasis on the line manager. Other people who are not part of this team would feel different I suppose. job descriptions from everywhere sample job descriptions. You don’t have much expectation there from say. From the coordination team to the network team: you don’t feel that works well enough? R: I think that they exist but they do not get enough information. my previous line manager was not communicating that much but I now I have been exposed to a large amount of communication from Paul from several years now so I don’t feel there is a problem. I don’t know how other people feel. I: What about this communication to the wider team you talked about the coordination team.. I: How would you prefer to receive this kind of information? R: I don’t mind as long as I know how to use it and as long as it is the most effective. sample performance agreements so we are all at the same level or to learn from each other.R: We don’t know enough about the tools of communication to allow us to choose the best method for certain type of communication. what would be the most effective to you in terms of communication of new initiatives. R: The office bulletin is a good method I find it a very good means of communication with people but lets say if we wanted to share knowledge about initiatives elsewhere maybe linking through the office bulletin I don’t know if this is best way or not people should know how to use them.

evaluation and this sort of things so we want as smooth a relationship between talking about respecting each other I: [ ] Are there any other ways that you think internal communications could be improved? . why do they exist? I: Okay I see what you are saying there. for example. What impact would getting a bad evaluation have on staff? R: You will go into a fight sometimes with your manager and you will not sign the we are we need to respect each other. Everyone is ] you mention that you had to chase you’ve not tried at regional level. I: We are not talking individual names here.R: After I spoke to you I checked with my colleague on whether they get a summary of the weekly meeting and she said no. if you say that this is the policy then please apply the policy across the board. certain things that the organisation is advocating lets say Equal Opportunity and Diversity. It has to become a value of the British Council that everybody should accept. I: I would like to tell me. What kind of things would satisfy you that giving and receiving feedback on your views and ideas and issues was working effectively? [ make things better there? R: It’s a very difficult question but I think that giving and receiving feedback has to become a value in the British Council as part of the values of the British Council. I want consistency between what people learn and what they do. And the same is true for upwards feedback. I: What about the frequency of face to face meetings with this group? Do face to face meetings happen at all? R: No. I: When you talk about people that object because they have not heard it before: what people? The managers or staff generally? R: I don’t want to point to some people. Or else lets take the team away. So. I: Would that be something that would be welcomed: more regular face to face meetings? R: I think so. just quickly okay. This means to me that they should. what kind of things would talking about equal opportunity and diversity but when it comes to implementing this people will object as if they have not heard about this topic before. Even though we have had a course about giving upwards feedback in the end people are still frightened to give upwards feedback. they may get a bad evaluation. people are afraid. sometimes but there is no regular meeting. We are talking about groups or roles? R: I have a problem with UK HR on a diversity issue. I think it would be welcomed. I: Why is that? R: Because they fear that if you give feedback to your line manager and they may be upset then they may give you a bad evaluation and this sort of thing even though the new system does not give a big chance to do this but still I think that people should accept upwards feedback from people they line manage because I feel.

knowing what tools of communication exist and when do they use what as the best tool. of course.R: In my view the most important thing is people. I: That is very interesting. To understand the differences a technical understanding of knowing how to use the tool. Then I have this conversation with a number of other people and make a report and I would be happy to send you an executive summary of the findings which would be by the end of November. I: Thank you very much for your time. Would you like that? R: Yes. Is there anything we haven’t spoken about that you would like to mention? R: Not really. That is all I have got. . What I do now is type up this conversation. I: Thank you. I: Would you be willing to take part in any more research about internal content? R: Yes.

I come from the old DEVS part of the British Council so I have got lots of experience managing full cost recovery contacts and also bidding for those contracts and winning them. England. And recently I have been working on our regional and global products which are the new I: So do you manage a team? R: Yes. I suppose. in terms of people there are probably an additional 15 people. washed away with UK Op’s change. to do with judicial reform. Project Manager. British Council. we all report to Sally Robinson. to do with human rights. I: What is your position? R: I am a project manager in C&P. unfortunately. One that does social and economic development. one that does public sector reform which is my team and one that does human rights. I: And how many people ? R: I manage 5 people. I: And what does that do? R: I manage projects. I: And that you consider to be a kind of working section or department? R: Department. basically. that’s right. I: What is the overall size of the governance area? Is it just you and the four? R: No. And justice sector reform which is another team. do you sit on any management teams with them etc? R: No. Some of the structure that we used to have within development services has. Manchester. Mon 30/06/08. So four of them directly and then one line managed by somebody. I: What are the kind of reporting relationships between the teams: who do you report to. to do with public sector reform and such like. R: I work in Contracts and Projects Governance so we inerited a portfolio of full cost recovery projects that are to do with governance. Key: I indicates interviewer R indicates respondent indicates a pause [ ] indicates part of the audiotape that has not been transcribed (?) indicates a word that is not clear [ ] I: How long have you worked for the British Council? R: 10 years. Middle . So they are split into three teams of about six people each. full cost recovery projects.Interview B. I: I am trying to get a feel for your context really can you describe the size and structure of where it is you work ? kind of in thing I suppose.

I am a member of the union. I’ve forgotten the name of our DG [I prompts Martin] Yeah. I don’t feel that that is a particularly successful discussion because it is not part of the structure do you know what I mean and because some of my colleagues are not very much team workers do you know what I mean so you invite them ‘okay. for example. on strategy on working. there is a void. I: I am going to talk about the actual process of internal comms now so what I would like to kick off with is. for example. From the British Council weekly bulletin. You receive information about salary discussion and things like that but I don’t think it’s that much information about the British Council itself. right so through networking at the British Council I have been aware of the public commissioning process and all of that for a very long time oh God. I: Is that the management brief that you are talking about? R: No. I: Do you get information via that at all. You do not have regular meetings with Sally. Martin Davidson sends out a monthly . R: Not very much.management do not have a forum for exchange of ideas. I try and share a discussion with them about what’s going on and how things are. lets organise a meeting to discuss how things are with us and our teams and they are not very responsive to that across team working. I: So. So. for managing people across our teams or for managing our portfolio across our teams. From BC life and I suppose from the monthly email from email which I do not find particularly helpful. I do work across my whole project manager colleagues that work in governance. is to get an idea of from whom or where you receive most of your information about the British Council? [ ] R: I suppose I get information from the C&P newsletter. I: What about the trade union side? R: Yes. I: What kind of information do you get through the various channels we just talked about? R: I think that we get information very late and. for example? R: I don’t get much information out of Sally because due to UK Ops change she has been given a huge span of command and I think about 20 people report to her and she is completely and utterly overwhelmed by the job in UK Ops change so I see her once every couple of months. It is interesting that you don’t mention the manager. I mean middle management do not receive the management brief. basically the conversation is between yourself and Sally and that’s it really? R: That is it. [ ] R: Is it that the type of information that you are after or the information about actual portfolios? I: It’s just about the organisation at the moment. on the global products. It is senior management that receive the management brief.

colleagues within ESS that are working on similar type projects to myself. for example. And then I contacted my Finance Decision Support here . In terms of procedures and. I: I take it that you are definitely not happy on the timeliness of it. That is an example of the stuff and it’s the same with the strategy and the same with commissioning procedures and C&P project management systems and things like that. been hounding my bosses because I want a costing model and I have heard on the grapevine that it has been signed off at the top level. I: So this mining of information what colleagues are you referring to there? R: I am referring within C&P. I: Slightly different angle on this information then. However. like introduction of there have been a lot of changes in the last couple of years as you know so again we would normally hear from various sources within C&P about changes. a business plan they circulated to everybody and it is a very good business plan. I: So you are saying that the information is quite late in certain things like strategy what other kind of information do you or don’t you get about the Council through C&P newsletter. You almost feel like you are pulling information from the organisation rather than it being there when you need it.can we use Oonagh Mason’s model and is the final version they’ve published does it use the same rates as the bootleg one that we have been using over the last few months because Oonagh did circulate something when she was starting her consultation about it. this is the model that you need use to cost your project but by the time it does we will probably have found out already through unofficial channels. I have been in consultation with Oonagh over a year. for example ? R: They give some good information on some of the current projects that we are working on so that’s good. I would like you to think about the types of information what kind of opportunities are there for you to feed your views upwards? R: Well. there is the new costing model. Oonagh Mason’s I haven’t heard about that from any official sources. For example. But it seems as if the five of . So in terms of the relevancy of the information would it be fair to say that it is not directly relevant to you I mean the type of information you are getting at the moment because it is missing the R: Because it is late.now and it has only come into the British Council Life in the most recent version so it is almost like you get more information on the grapevine and by mining information from colleagues rather than what comes through official channels. No one has said to me ‘there is a new costing model on its way’. So. you know. They came up with. Yes. I’ll give you an example. it still has not come on the bulletin that yes. within Contracts and Projects I don’t want to sound overly critical because I think the fact that there was a huge change and then we have five people who are the Contracts and Projects senior management team and they went into a bit of a huddle and they spent a year working on strategy for C&P.

and certain things kept coming up all the time. if you are actually encountering problems turn around to senior management and say and tell them making things work and you you are trying to be helpful. Intellectual property rights on our global products it hasn’t been sorted out maintain intellectual property rights on our global products. At that point there wasn’t any commitment from C&P senior management team to listen to the views. for yourself. They are so overwhelmed with so many changes that have taken place that they can’t take on board what you are feeding up and I think it is the same with the programme areas. Sally Robinson... some of them are not appointed or whatever say this. So I am working on a global product and I can do it for my own product but I think that there needs to be some knowledge here that needs to be circulated and there’s something that needs to be done corporately about this. do you have regular meetings? R: I do have meetings with Sally but I wouldn’t say that they were regular because as I say she is very often down in London or Belfast or Edinburgh or Cardiff. I: So I take it that the opportunity to feed up do you have the opportunity though. So. that and the other they won’t even understand what you are talking about. I also think it’s a way of being because we had a Contracts and Projects Staff conference which I think was an excellent initiative and so we had.them are completely overwhelmed and they rolled out the business plan by having a C&P kind of roll out and they had workshops within every team within C&P but if you turned round to them and said ‘Look. there are problems operational problems it seems that there is a schism between the senior management and the people on the ground that are actually doing things. this needs looking at. for example. was it 200 people from C&P or maybe it was 150 people who participated and it was excellently facilitated and we were all split into about 10 groups and we all came up with suggestions and things like that and all the C&P senior management team were there so we came up with all these suggestions and one of the questions from the floor to Patrick was ‘what is going to happen with all these suggestions that we have made? We have all been here studying the environment we are in and everything that’s happening and his response was ‘you are all coming up with this. don’t know if she does go to Cardiff. Lily all of them.at high level. I: What is that level called? R: I call it Contracts and Projects Senior Management team. the programme directors okay. the fact that and also the senior management team who are so new all of them that if you turn round and . you how we are going to know what I mean this needs looking at. I am not saying that we should not be engaged in any of the issues that we raise but if a considerable amount of the people at that conference are telling him that certain things need to happen . and you need to take it forward’. you know. I: These five senior managers I take it Sally is one of them? R: Yes. don’t think so but she is often away. I think that she has taken some very big contracts on which are.

I: [ ] there is no mention that these contracts were the wrong sort of contracts there was no engagement on the issue. And our portfolio needs to be coherent.2 surplus and we should go out there and get it again. concerns about FABS that are never addressed. So. And if you try to really question the organisation or people high up you are seen to be a problem rather than someone who is genuinely concerned about the way things are going. I know that those concerns were expressed straight to Martin himself because I personally raised those issues and all of those concerns were brushed aside and then we went into. I welcome those. for example. At the same time any concerns that are raised about the business itself are brushed aside and not listened to. we have lost a load we have lost credibility in the sector and we you felt . its not just UK Ops change the environment has changed as well and it is a very competitive market. [ ] I think it’s an attitude from C&P Senior Management of not engaging with their middle management. I think that is a nice thing for him to do. no.we need to have a very clear portfolio management and communications system so we need to have a track record for every single project that we have on our portfolio and that needs to be on the website. come up to Manchester for those presentations. I haven’t heard him listen very much either to staff I think some issues were raised a long time ago but I kind of feel that people raise issues like concerns about UK Op’s change. that is what we want to do. now it isn’t profit sorry. no the management fee income was around about £7 million and the surplus was around about £1point something million. R: What we are now hearing now we have lost our track record and all the business because of UK Ops change no. But I am sorry. now we are hearing from Mark Robinson (sic) that we really need that £7million MFI and we need that £1. I: What opportunity is there to let the organisation beyond C&P know how you feel about certain things in your work life like what you just described there? R: I think it is your Annual Staff Survey. I do like the fact that Martin does. And they had a certain management structure that was it’s washed aside and partly as a result of that our portfolio has disappeared. UK Ops change and we had a 70% drop in our portfolio and then we get a schizophrenic organisation that says we should be winning more contracts. We’ve had a few presentations from Martin Davidson and Cathy. no. I: Would you care to tell me why you say that why you feel that? R: I feel that because before UK Ops change happened I asked Martin Davidson he came up to give a presentation and I said ‘Have you looked at UK Op’s change and the affect that its going to have on our portfolio of full cost recovery projects? I am very concerned about how the changes are going to affect the teams who are currently because we had a £10 million business which was bringing in £2 million a year of what we call management fee income. Within DEVS you had a core group of people who worked very hard and had experience of winning these contracts. I think it is once a quarter or something.

didn’t recruit people when we needed to recruit we haven’t progressed people who needed to progress. we’re going to go out there and gain back what we something that would make everybody pull together as we used to in the old days. let’s unpick the strategy let’s listen to what people have to say about when you start to implement the strategy. I am developing a global . there is no profit involved. These global products [ ] I think we are doing too much innovation I don’t think that we need so much innovation and we are spending a lot of money saying we need so much innovation in the company . [ ] She is unlikely to give chatty or just information that she has picked up from attending the various high level meetings and workshops and things like that. I: Let’s look at the communications relationship you have with your line manager.we’re going to win new business. We haven’t managed the business and if we go back now we haven’t heard that they were the wrong contracts to be doing.... She is very factual.we only need 10 global products and maybe we’ve already got them. Is this in confidence and won’t go any further? I: I can absolutely assure you of that. The information she shares with people she line manages is very much based on factual information that she is required to pass down. How satisfied are you that she expresses the organisations purpose and goals clearly? R: I am not..with tying it with her emotional feeling about things. If they were closer to the business then it would be of benefit to the organisation and we wouldn’t rush off in new directions all the time. a lot of T1’s and T2’s in ministry of education and justice we lost something here that is quite difficult to get back. Now. I found something else to do why should I bust my gut winning these contracts. I mean somebody that comes says ‘Hey guys that we’ve lost half our portfolio or over half our portfolio Mark Robinson (sic) now says we need to up it and so let’s get together let’s go for it. What I think is that British Council senior management do not seem to want to engage with British Council middle management on let’s talk about the strategy.okay. We are again rushing off in some new direction and perhaps if Martin and Mark and all of them perhaps if they sat down with some people that are actually managing the global products that we’ve got at the moment [ ]... I: When she passes that information down how well does she make the connection between that information about the business agenda and your actual goals as a C&P delivery person? R: I am afraid I don’t think that there is much inspirational leadership around. R: She never has a chat about how things are going strategically within the organisation so. She will only share information once there is a corporate requirement for her to disseminate some new procedure. suddenly everyone is waking up to the fact that [ ] we used to get a lot of exposure. Sally. There is absolutely no recognition of value by the organisation in doing that and there seems to be a lot of recognition for this innovation agenda so I will go and work on something that is a little easier which is what I have done.

I: That is communication to everybody. BC Life etc.? R: Yes. [ ] we used to have quarterly business I also think there was a little update on there but you accessed it through the bulletin. You would read information so you would also know where you were but you would also receive a personal presentation from C&P which was Mark Hardy so once a quarter he would talk to everyone . we are now at 2008 so what happens beyond. And we used to feed into that and we used to get stuff coming out of it to us . So. so if you have important pieces of information . We used to look at our portfolio and our pipeline and that would be a snapshot of where we are and where we were going. They go out to every single person in the organisation I believe. no. And the same for C&P management every quarter.which was paper based. In person. I think it would be very helpful to have more strategy also Strategy 2010. You know. are those effective in your opinion or. I: What’s important to you in terms of effective internal communication? R: It would be very important for the programme directors to unpack the top level of British Council outcomes and outputs so we know what we are supposed to be doing because I am a bit lost as to what we should be doing in the Council. The bulletin reminded you that there was which I never heard about that would R: With development services we used to have a cycle management meetings. Belfast and Edinburgh and it is [used] to give information like ‘there is a deadline for APA to come in on 30 June and everyone needs to put on their time logging’.product rather than winning the old cost recovery business. knowledge economy okay what does that mean? I am trying to find out what that means but I don’t think that there is very clear information on what that means to the Council to the programme directors and to the British Council senior management board. intercultural dialogue. I am looking forward to the next strategy paper. What about you? R: I also value having people from senior management like Martin Davidson give an update or presentation once every six months or so. [ ] R: It does seem to be a bit dry the meetings with Sally she has meetings with her line managees once a week it’s supposed to be once a week but for various reasons some of them get cancelled.. It’s by VC as there are people in London. I: In unpacking these outcomes and outputs what ways of communicating would you like when we kicked off you spoke about C&P newsletter. But in terms of what information Sally gives that is the question you are asking. isn’t it? I don’t think it is very linked. on the intranet for Strategy 2010 there was a site with documents that you had published so you could back stuff going on there. It is quite uninspirational information giving rather than the British Council has a new (?) paper be interesting. in Manchester. climate change.

from C&P about where we were going and what we were doing. I am excited about having global products having a menu of products that is coherent and that people can draw down in different regions and different countries. It had quarterly business meetings where you fed into them. where you’d received information out of them. What was your question again? I: We were talking about how satisfied you were with how the Council performs so you see a lot of potential in these global products. I: Where there other elements beyond those two that made you feel this was worth ? R: There was a lot more time from senior management to for line managing. I would imagine had a newsletter? R: It had a newsletter. that was development services. I would like coherent information on our portfolio of global and regional products. I: Washed away and not replaced effectively? R: Correct. I: How would you like to receive this information? . was much closer relationship between the team that were working on a piece of business. [ ] There is the potential for people to do an analysis of our current portfolio. I think that instead of UK Ops change we actually needed to do analysis of our portfolio. I: What kind of information would you like to receive about the British Council? R: I would like more information from a senior level about the visions for the future for the Council and see how that percolates down to what I actually do in C&P and C&P senior management and what their vision is what their operational response is to that strategy. I: Are you saying that the old structure was awkward or what bits would you be looking to rescue? [ ] R: No I think the old structure was much more effective than what we have now. I understand that. I think that covers it. I I: If we look at back at the organisation how satisfied with the way the Council performs in terms of internal communications? R: I think there is a lot of potential for the global products. R: How we actually perform at the moment is inefficient. When C&P was created that system that management structure was washed away. I don’t think our offer should be the same in every country or region of the world to have a coherent portfolio of contracts and that country directors decide what is best and I think there is some support needed from the UK in terms of quality assurance just taking the products to different places. Sorry. They were not cancelled [ suppose that was one of the reasons we were so successful. from what I picked up. I used to ] There have weekly meetings with my line manager Lili Marfani. I: Now the old structure.

I: Within C&P what features would satisfy you that giving and receiving feedback was working for you? R: How would it look like? I think. I: Is this the executive board? R: The executive board but also C&P. I think that Martin does that. Another thing with communication that I would like and I have asked for for the last six months that all the project managers that are work on the new global or regional products from commissioning that they should all be linked up as I have had one to one conversations . So there was information there that you could read quickly and then once you wanted more you knew where to find it. think would help people move on. You are raising issues that are real and you don’t hear anything back from anybody. UK Ops was a waste of time. R: Oh. possibly. As soon as you draw the cadre of senior management you no longer have anything to do with the business so the business people on the shop floor can say I need a coordinated client management system I need to link up with other people that have DFID as a client within the council all I am saying is we want a little email between us or a chat room on the website or something. Just to say this is best practice for when doing such and such. Yes.R: I would like the old methods to be used again like strategy 2010 communications were quite good. So you can make any suggestion or you can work on new global products and say to your senior management I have a problem with intellectual property rights. I: you previously mentioned that you’d like more quarterly meetings and more time with your line manager I suppose? R: Within C&P. I: So the result there would be an answer to your question whether you liked the answer or not. it would be a good thing to admit mistakes: FABS wasn’t value for money. Listening to people: if you do go to someone’s presentation and you do engage that you do actually see a result from engaging. What is the British Council’s policy regarding trademarking our new global products? And you don’t hear anything back. yes. I personally. They are not facing the customer or the business. I: Can you remind me about Strategy 2010 communications? R: They had a bit of the website some of it was always there some of it was updated and then they put reminders and little articles on the bulletin. Certain things have happened over the past two years that. I think that our senior management are caught up in some process or procedure that we don’t know what it is. I don’t know how to protect the intellectual property rights for the British Council on this product that I am creating that is worth £2million that we are investing in it to trademark it costs £10k.

no one has invested time in getting us altogether. I: Is there anything that we have not spoken about that you would like to mention? [ ] R: I think we need another big strategy paper on where we are going. senior management have a lot of their trust and as a plank to their strategy. global products and da-de-da-da what does it mean. Anne Staniforth has said it is an issue and perhaps they could do something on the intranet or SharePoint. you hopefully have got people who can feed into it. so they all have different strengths and weaknesses and some can overcome the managing suppliers issues. I don’t know where that is going to come from so let’s see where that will come from. There are certain assumptions that I am not sure are correct. I: Who do you think should invest time in doing that? R: I am still lobbying the commissioning department to see if they will do that. So I think somewhere where we are going. what happens. some of them can overcome the creating issue very easily. [ ] But where are we going.with them and they all seem to be facing similar problems they are all reinventing the wheel so I’ve chatted and some have been successful because they come from different backgrounds. some of them have project management backgrounds. I am not sure that this is correct. [ ] . Just a little chat roomy thing or something where you identify what the problems are that people are encountering and then you identify the resources people have already solved certain problems so if you want to do fundraising and sponsorship for example who do you talk to in the Council? [ ] There needs to be some network set up. Now that all the changes have happened. R: Well. Finally. And I said we all need to communicate and I fed this up to my line management as yet. and some of them have marketing communications backgrounds. They do say confidently that we will double our income. the fact that we are going to raise all this money from sponsorship. if we put all inot place all these things they have been talking about. what are we working towards now. I have no idea where this is going to come from. I: I don’t know.

That one takes about 25% of my job. Amman. flight bookings. it is a really big role because I end up implementing regional projects. I: What does the job involve? R: There are three functions within my job: one of which is managing finance and I basically manage a team of four people. We have a fresh department which is our operational department. And then there is a third element which is human resources. Those used to manage DFID projects but we deal with local and regional projects only. Jordan. delivery of packages all sorts of possible administration work. where I look at the planning for next year. Then there is administration. Key: I indicates interviewer R indicates respondent indicates a pause [ ] indicates part of the audiotape that has not been transcribed (?) indicates a word that is not clear [ ] I: How long have you worked for the British Council? R: About 11 years. Administration is a bigger group which contains security and administration staff members so that is about 18 staff members. I: What is your position? R: I am Assistant Director for Resources. Amman. Duties within administration are to arrange bookings. where I link with the strategy team. That manages all our local and regional and sometimes global projects as well. We have the examination department and the teaching centre. Under the first element of my job: the Assistant Director part where I contribute to policymaking in the office. I: What other kind of units are there. I: How many people in that team? R: There’s none. There’s none except for me. British Council. That is why it is 25% representative because sometimes there are no duties at all and sometimes it takes up all of my time. R: I took this job last October so we need to update it for sure. Resources. My HR duties revolve around doing the administration work of collecting performance evaluations and filing them to making HR Strategy for the Council and the British Council. what type of functions? I can see there is resources there what are the other parts of Jordan? R: We have what we used to call the library: the Knowledge Information Services and then we are mainly filled with resources. it is mainly a consultative role rather than full involvement. . however. because that is slightly different to the information that is on the intranet.Interview C. I am contributing to the regional HR in whether Change project or to regional HR in general. I: Okay. financial planning. Tues 01/07/08.

On many occasions you will have somebody visiting Jordan. It is basically to negotiate and talk about any updates on customer service and those people cascade it back to the department. I: What kind of management teams are there then? You mentioned the strategy team. also reports to the Director. library staff. I: how often does that meet? R: Every Sunday. However. who is also Assistant Director for Programme. We had the communications manager up until she resigned. I: Are there are any other teams ? R: We have a marketing team and a customer service team. every beginning of the week. I: What are the reporting relationships between business units? For a start. I: Knowledge and Information? R: Knowledge and Information reports directly to the Director and Head of Operations.I: Each of the units have managers heading them up. The marketing has a slightly different group and I am not aware of that group. one of my staff from finance. examinations manager. We don’t have a teaching centre manager. if you are asking me about how I get most of my information it will be the strategy team and the director. R: It is mainly from the strategy team mainly and from my director. This is our management team and this is headed up by those five people: the deputy teaching centre manager. R: Strategy team. I: So you are not members of those other two teams? R: I am not but somebody from my department is at least in one of them: the customer service one. I: [ ] from who or where do you receive most of your information about the British Council and I am talking about corporate information now. I know that the communications manager the customer service manager is part of that group and it includes other people as well. We are sharing one with Egypt and we have a deputy teaching centre manager over here. Charlie Walker. maybe a VIP from headquarters where you hear something new. However. We do have Communication manager in that strategy team. who do you report to? R: I report to our Director. new strategies that are being implemented. Most of the other departments: examinations report to the Country director so does the teaching centre. we have newly added the customer service manager. They are the two sources where I would know about activities or new corporate. resource manager or Assistant Director for Resources we have Assistant Director for Programme. These have different timings but the customer service team would consist of all the front and back office marketing staff. yes? R: Yes. I: Are there any other methods of finding out what is happening in the Council? .

I: [ ] Do you get this information from the strategy meeting in the main? R: Strategy Meeting. for instance. With administration I do emails and meetings with them as well. I am receiving mostly via email. because I am a finance person I also receive information about corporate performance from our financial returns which we receive at the end of financial year. for instance. I: You say you barely have the time because of emails. sorry. but I can’t remember now.. However. new procedures and policies. teleconference and Interwise this is how we mainly communicate with them. monthly one. on top of the summary from my SMT meeting to present a summary of what I get from my SMT meeting. from Director. via teleconference and via Interwise to communicate on a monthly basis what is happening with HR with the projects and what we want to change. I meet with them not as much as the strategy team but we meet once or twice a month. if we are look at HR. We barely finish the emails and the work that we have to do. I: When you say the office bulletin you mean the corporate one? R: Yes. Basically that and the email is the way I go for with Administration.. What else? There is the office bulletin board and the regional bulletin board. we do a staff awayday on a yearly basis and within that we try to talk about things that are important for our strategy or plan. it was about a month ago.R: There is the country plan which is something which I receive every year I look through the country plan and there is the staff awayday. Do you get information via emails as well on corporate performance? R: Yes. What kind of information are you receiving about the organisation? R: Let’s look to them by bracket. However. I know that they will hate it we really don’t have the time. Finance it is face to face mainly because they sit next to me and we interact a lot in our day to day work. I mean if you look at corporate performance we look at the score card and we look at the staff survey those are basically what I look at to see of course. They are a source that I sometimes refer to.also our terms and conditions of services. they are minor sources. I: That is obviously a lot of sources. I will update them on what is happening in the world of the British Council. I would call them up do a quick meeting tell them a new piece of information and I will do with them fortnightly meetings. sometimes. I: Who came across to talk to you? R: I don’t know. of course. new strategies if any. I should remember it. I: How do you feel about the amount of information you get about the organisation? . So with this group it is email. And because my administration team does not highly understand English so I sometimes I kind of interpreted whatever I got. Whenever there is an update with them I will meet with them twice. and then NENA office bulletin. In most cases. we have these visits from the SMT Executive Board and he discussed a little bit about what we did and our strategy.

I know why they are after this information but I don’t know why it is repeated in different forms or different styles. Now. Some of the questions were annoying because they were not co-ordinated and they were repetitive for me the receiver. We receive a lot of information and requests that we have to return and during the past ten months I found out that people were asking the same questions over and over again. I couldn’t understand why are they asking such a question because you cannot do De-diplomatisation if you don’t have a status? You need to move your status so that you can have these people De-diplomatisated and then give them a new status. My own interpretation on this is that we have two people assigned to the NENA region to look at the processes. I cannot afford time on the side to do this extra work. I have an issue as I told you earlier I am a deputy FABS coordinator and we receive a lot of requests and there is a lot of preparation that we have to do between now and FABS. Ahh. It may not be the same person or the same group or the same team. For instance. (?) I: Do you ever get any feedback once you have sent the information on what was done with it or what is happening with it? R: We get an initial plan which will say we will do a questionnaire and we will use this to do what is called a BPDT visit and this will customise the training that will go to FABS. another person is assigned to NENA region to look at FABS and this person will ask me the same question as the two others. The two different teams are asking me almost the same questions because there are a lot of overlapping questions when we are talking about Status and about De-diplomatisation. it is only first communicated at the very beginning and we come back to it when we meet for FABS. One of the questions I found a little bit naive they are asking me whether I am going to do the De-diplomatisation after or before status. I’ll give you another good example. So. I have been asked how many payments do you make in a month. everything was repetitive. on the Tax and Status Project there was one team and they decided to separate them into De-diplomatisation and Status Project so they became two different teams. however. I have been asked this about five different times. It was . for instance. Then a month later they come back to us. So I know in principal why something is being done.] we went through the material and it was everything I knew. October last year [ . that’s why I told you this morning I would talk to you. it may be a different team but it is a bit annoying for me and my stakeholders. it becomes annoying as my job is fully loaded. We were asked to go to a FABS meeting in Morocco.R: I have an opinion about that. It could be bank or a supplier I am dealing with instead of asking them all the right questions that we need to know about the bank we are asking them a little bit like headquarters decide I need to know about this now so they ask us and we go and ask the bank for information. I: Do you get to know why they are doing it this way? Do they explain why they are after this information? R: No.

I: Are there opportunities for you to feed your views or ideas or issues upwards. I wouldn’t say that this is the norm. we always had a system of making financial plans we knew exactly when we needed to do financial plans every single year. Three of these people work in the same office. the Decision Support Officer will come and tell me we need a new financial plan by next week. I did have the chance to add some new initiatives and work through them in the past few years. the same room. We have just passed through a lot of restructuring so. initially to Country Director and then regional and corporate level? R: The last time there was a change project there were some opportunities which I was very thankful for. For instance. In the past three years all of this has changed and we started to do our planning on a quarterly basis so there was sometimes surprises about the timely of this information like. I enjoy working with him because in the past few years I had a few ideas myself that I implemented in the office including staff forum and staff representatives. It has four people. It is the way that it is transferred that I tried to exercise here. I do get information and consultations [ ] however. One works on Status projects. At one occasion I received three deadlines from those three people within the same week. we have the regional office upstairs. Doing some changes in customer service although it’s not my domain and it was well received as long as I got the buy in of the people involved and I got the commitment to implement. it is not coordinated and it comes repetitive it does not come in chunks. As for Charlie. How much we influence the decision I would say not so much so far. . [ ] I: Thinking about corporate or regional information you are getting about the business. for instance. So. I am not influencing it fully. However. For instance.Some of them are quite big that we cannot discuss solely. when we started with our change program here with NENA we asked to be consulted about things. We are running these teleconferences all the time . Now. I: In terms of timeliness do you get the information needed to do your job at the right time? R: I guess so. they do not coordinate it between themselves [ ] I: Would you say now the information you receive is relevant to help you do your job? R: it is. for instance. its objectives and strategy. They’ve done some sort of something on the intranet over six or seven weeks where you can go in and contribute I feel that the corporate office is listening more to my views. how relevant is the information you are receiving? R: It is relevant. We are getting there gradually. However. We are consulted. he is very assertive. the third one works on restructuring the finance for the region. however. Now each of them needed a lot of work of me.then that they informed us that FABS would be postponed from March to September so it added to my frustration [ ] I would say 25% of that training was a new thing. We previously asked them to give a longer deadline. the other works on FABS. we are consulted. the learning and development framework which was a big thing. Initially.

I tend to like it for HR and FABS projects quite often we meet once or twice a year basically either to train on something new or to consult on something or to put some feedback for FABS preparation. it is very much for me. I like it a lot. I think that they did consult. my HR champions like it as much as I do. Those are the people who I meet with around Interwise. who are these HR people that you mention? R: Basically. When they were done they were sent to us back as this is the last version of TACOS. I also get opportunities to write in some magazines. with the regional I don’t see it as much. the product. for instance with the HR thing we worked on TACOS (terms and conditions of service). I mean if we are working against a product. I would not know where is it happening want to give you a neutral look what we are trying to do and I what our HR change managers are trying to do is to try to do Interwise meetings with us and trying to tell us where we are now. However. you have talked about regionally. She would tell us this is what you have done and this is what you have to do in future so there is some kind of feedback to me. That was obviously a regional change programme that you were going through. What kind of opportunities are there for you to get feedback on those ideas or views that you have communicated upwards? R: Basically. change programme in NENA then. However. for instance I can’t remember names but we received somebody who came from the Executive Board as well and he came over and we had a chat with him. HR used teleconference and then later more Interwise which is also a very good tool. in the local office I receive it much more. There is a face to face element and I sit down and talk often with my director or I put an idea on the table I can see whether there is feedback within that same moment or later on. they are HR managers in the NENA region. on some occasions we would feedback and I would not receive anything in return. what opportunities are there for you to let the organisation know how you feel about things that affect you in your work? R: The staff survey is the main thing.I: So. I: Sorry. So I did business with them as an end product. You feel that they did consult widely across the region then? R: Yes. I: And face to face meetings. They are not happy with the tool. And I did talk . However. As I said they basically they do not like the tool as much as I do. I: You have mentioned locally. We do meet over the phone and meetings are the two areas. Something is not friendly for them. There is some not perfect but there is some. I: Was that primarily through teleconference? R: Teleconference. I don’t feel my team. As I said there were still areas that I did not see that we got a lot of consulting in but it feels good I am happy with what we got so far. However. yes? R: And there is SharePoint which I don’t use very much but the FABS coordinator uses all the time [ ] I: So those are a lot of ways that you get a chance that you have to feed your views upwards.

As a person he is more competent than the one before. And what I have to tell you is that Charlie managed all the changes while the one before just managed status q . I mean the personality changes only but both of them work in the same direction. And I talked about three minutes. On many occasions he would tie why we do this activity to the purpose of the Council and he would welcome a discussion about it. he does. I don’t know about other line managers in the team. I think. [ ] Other feedback is that when we do receive a member of the Executive Board or head of the British Council we do have a chance to feedback usually. He asked me then to write something in a magazine that the Executive Board would read. whenever there is a change he would always communicate it clearly with us. So his way is good.about the change and how we felt about the change and how we felt about FABS. I: And does his style contrast with the person that was there before him? R: To an extent I felt that we felt that Charlie was more competent and more able to connect what we do with the strategy and was more able to communicate that to us. for example. However. I: That would be interesting to know because as you know it was last year that we had the change from the senior management team to the Executive Board R: I will give you the name and the timing. I: When did Charlie arrive there? R: He has been here for two to three years. we received the Head of Equality and Diversity. ] .so it is quite a different task that he managed. I did not because I did not have the time but there was an opportunity in front of me to write down my comments which I said to this person to go to the whole SMT team at the time. He told me then that whatever you are saying we don’t hear up there can you possibly write it down. I: So the best offer you got at that point was to write this down. However. [ I: Can you think about your relationship with your line manager at the moment? How satisfied are you with the way he expresses the organisations purpose and goals clearly? R: He does. Of course. Did you say this person wanted it as a magazine article or something? R: There is. We do have some chances of people who come from the UK and spend some time with us whether training or discussing something and we usually feedback to them as well. We talk a little about what we do and we can feedback. I: Was this recently? R: This was last year [ ] I will come back to you with the names. I mean I am lucky to have Charlie because Charlie is really good when he first came to the Council he had done a few trainings to raise our awareness about what is happening and understand the whole concept of change. I think I don’t know if it was a magazine or a kind of monthly letter that goes to the SMT’s or the Executive Board but it was he wanted to get from the country level to the Executive Board to know about. Fiona and she always welcomes feedback that she takes back to the UK.

it is too much information and you don’t necessarily have to talk to everybody. When the person in front of me speaks he knows that I am getting the message so he moves on to something else rather than dwelling on it. one communication tool which I thought was very effective. so that I have more control over the waste of time. I would like to have it in smaller chunks and that is a result. It was a nice video. have you looked at the All Staff communication that we have? They are good but sometimes they have a lot of information that I would really like to know . For instance. Maybe if it is going to All Staff. then I should send it to that person and some occasions maybe send it to the communications manager in that country and let them decide who to send it to. I like face to face communication because it eliminates the waste of time [ ] for effective communication less word. I: What else would make you feel unhappy with internal communications performance? R: The long emails talk about something that is going on in the organisation. I wish that it was considered that staff are fully loaded with their post work. I: What is your preference for the style of communication that you get? [ ] R: I like more the face to face. was Martin Davidson’s did it the first time he came to manage the Council was through videos.I: So you are quite positive that he makes the connection between the general information between the organisations agenda and your goals quite well? R: Yes. it was a nice introduction for him. as I said. So basically I go directly to the question. If I had the time it would be really great to know about this So I would like it if it was shorter and more targeted you know. we received these David Green monthly email you . I would love to know. I: what All Staff communication are you referring to? R: We receive occasion sometimes it is All Staff for regional only so sometimes it is not for All Staff globally. I didn’t even know how he looked by then. However. First of all for the body language and second. I felt good about it. someone like me would love to know what is happening around but I don’t have the time. huge email and I really don’t have the time. If this had a planning or project management maybe that email should go to another chunk. For instance. to basically who this information is important for. if this long email had an HR aspect to it I would definitely be interested so this chunk should go to the HR people only. I ask the question and go directly to the piece of information that I need.I don’t have the time. I liked it. First of all you felt it was personal. Rather than this long email that this organisation tend to do. it wasn’t too long. he did communicate the messages he wanted I read his body language. I: What is important to you in terms of effective internal communication? [ ] R: I would receive this long. For instance.

He would do them on a need basis and so he doesn’t have to do them on monthly and he has to send a newsletter. For instance. Finance. For instance. There are some that we receive from the region for instance if there is a new performance management in place kind of messages that need to go to all staff. this new edition that is coming I would love to have a staff version of that. However. It comes. I mean this gave us good information. What was the question again? [ ] R: For me the most important for me are the ones that really affect my work: HR. I just heard people talking about it. I never read. I: When would you expect to receive this information? What kind of frequency would you expect to get this information? R: Let me go back to my experience of Interwise. I rarely read the office bulletin again for the same reason. if you want to read about it you go in.remember them. Simplified version of the strategy. I was missing some of the meetings because I didn’t have the time I would say that monthly would be enough with my HR colleagues with FABS [ ] if we would meet at the beginning of the month and they could tell us this is the returns you are going to receive this month. Consultative communication is something that I would like to keep even if it was video or telephone conference or Interwise. this is a message for you. I don’t have the time to read this. I would just like to keep it running to basically feel that we are feeding into the products that we are working against. whatever new systems that we have. I: So some kind of platform where you feel there is some kind of exchange. I would like to have a summary of the things that are not in my domain rather than a lot of big chunks. That is a voluntary thing. more organised communications and requests for work [ } . okay. don’t misunderstand me I do like to receive messages. I: What information would you like to receive about the organisation? R: About the organisation? New systems. I don’t have the time. it is not about the message itself. The message is good but I don’t have the time to read it though we were receiving less from Martin which is good. the quantity of those messages are way too much that I can’t really absorb them and I have to kind of prioritise ignore some and read others and for sure I don’t go to the NENA newsletter for instance. I found out that there is something after Strategy 2010 and I think it is called Strategy 2011. However. yes? R: Yes. However. Interwise: they suggested that we do it twice a week twice a month every two weeks and I felt this was a bit too much. I would just scroll through them. Some of them I really like to receive. Anything else would be general information. I don’t know anything about it. things about the Status Projects projects that I work on now. Maybe some of my colleagues don’t have the same problem but I do. It is more like you need to know about this.

‘is there updates from you as a person’ so we go around and spend about half an hour. We discuss action plans that we want to take. And this is not just from me. activities here and there. if there was a communication with staff members I would imagine the best way to do this was with an away day with games. General discussion about this and how staff feel about it. to me it always come up. We have one staff meeting which happens in the middle of the day and that is to allow the teachers to attend it. Within those two meetings the big one the one in the middle of the day there would be mainly less things to talk about. We have another staff meeting that goes early in the morning to allow people who have shifts to come and join. The combination of the two is good because they are not boring all the time. Can it be done over a videoconference? I: Is there anything that we haven’t spoken about that you would like to mention? R: The only thing that I want to say is that we had a communication manager here in Jordan about a year ago and now we have a communication structure. I don’t think that travelling. And when we get the staff survey results we use this meeting to discuss the results. I: That seems a long time between one away day and another for feeling involved and giving and getting feedback. It could be me telling them about the new performance management system. And that made a or is it as necessary? . Having people sitting in rows and talking to them for hours is the worst kind because people just go to sleep. I would recommend less of a bulletin board. I heard this from another colleague 75% of what they discussed could have been discussed on the phone. So. I: You attend both of those? R: Yes. Are there things that during the year you would like to see more or less of? R: We do have staff meeting every two weeks. I’ve tried it with HR and I think it would be nice to use it elsewhere. the early meeting is mainly ’is there any updates from your department’.I: What kind of things would satisfy you that the giving and receiving of feedback was working? R: For instance. Anything that is written because our eyes read a lot in one day and the last thing that you would want is to read again Again it is moving away from a reading method towards a method that we can be creative. I: Are there any other ways that you think internal communications could be improved? R: Why don’t we use tools such as Interwise? I really like it. One time it is light and one time it is long. Once a year. Face to face meetings are good. [ ] Anything creative that keeps attraction to whatever is being communicated. it could be a colleague talking about a project about a public diplomacy project that he worked on and this is the result of the project. We have to assess our travelling. [ ] I: This away day is once a year R. I think that they absorb the information very quickly and they enjoy absorbing it.

better for the designer to do them in Egypt. Also they are making cost effective choices so. There are saving aspects as well as communication. for instance. That is as far as I know. You have a communication structure in the region that makes a difference. What does that look like? R: We have a communication change manager who was recently moved into being a communication manager so she left the change programme and she managed it.difference because we used to cut the job of the communication manager and distribute them in little pieces. The things I know that the communication group do is they manage the bulletin board. [ ] . If it is easier to do them. I don’t know what they do but. one of the things that they do is they are printing the material together so that the message is the same around the region. for instance. flyers they manage for the region. if they are able to print that material in Jordan they will print it in Jordan. They do training for our communication manager. We have one communication manager or more in each country depending on size of that country. the designer is doing them in the whole region. I: I am going to have to go further on this one. all the publications. I think having them in the one job is very highly appreciative.

[ ] I: What are the reporting relationships are there? Who do you report to? R: My line manager is the Director Netherlands. And an office for our director. Key: I indicates interviewer R indicates respondent indicates a pause [ ] indicates part of the audiotape that has not been transcribed (?) indicates a word that is not clear [ ] I: Well. yes. That is grant funded income. I: And how many are in that team? R: Myself included: four. I: And what is your position? R: I am now what they call Projects and Partnership Manager. I: Could you tell me a little bit about the overall size and the set up of where you work at the moment? R: It is a local town office with one section reserved for Exams staff and the other for projects. I: What is that management team? Interview interrupted as respondent was called away.Interview D. Well in the Benelux region we have a projects team and I head up that team. firstly let me just say thank you very much for agreeing to take part [ ] how long have you worked for the British Council? R: 7 years. Exams and Projects. I: What kind of business management teams are there there? R: We have a projects team and I am also invited to attend the general management meeting at the Brussels office. British Council. I: And can you tell me about what that involves? R: Yes. Projects and Partnerships Manager. I: What are the kind of relationships between the business units? Do you sit together on a management team or anything like that? R: We do. I: So the project team involves you and who else? . Tues 01/07/08. I don’t make a special trip to Brussels for them so I try to match other commitments in the Brussels office to coincide but it is obviously not always possible. Amsterdam. I: What other units or functions are there? R: Just that. Netherlands.

just to have a peer time when you can record what you have agreed milestones and timelines. Formally as distinct from informally . Sinclair. And records of all the working group meetings and the documentation that is stored on the SharePoint or if it is not got that far. myself and van der Aa who is finance manager. the . I: [ ] From who or where do you receive most of your information about the British Council? R: Most of it is embedded in the project work. That includes Nigel Bellingham who is director. I: And then the general management team in Brussels: who is part of that? R: That is very extensive. critical paths and that sort of thing. action points and documents that are produced as an outcome of a meeting. I: Is this the Benelux team then? R: Yes. We do some times do teleconferencing [ ] as long as you have a good chair and the agenda is clearly communicated and it was well managed. I: Who is involved in this SharePoint site? R: The overall we talk about regions so the overall project managers and we talk about incountry project managers now.R: Three other people. I store them on my G drive. You may not always be able to attend in which case you can always link in with a video link I have done that in the past.Jones who is change manager. and that is generated through working documents. We work in an open plan office so we all sort of help each other and I know what is going on in all the projects and I link up with people when needed if you like by phone or in person. I: So it is region and in-country project managers then? R: Yes and you can invite others that are not necessarily project managers. of course. You can if you so choose. Andrew Manasseh who is head of the direct teaching centre and Anne Van Hoof and the PA to Stephan Roman I: How often do those teams meet? How often does the project team meet? R: Once a month formally but we work very closely so we meet ad hoc whenever is needed and we just actually agreed to meet with each project manager every two weeks. I: And these working group meetings take place on the SharePoint in a kind of discussion board or are they separate? R: Usually the working group meetings of regional projects always usually have a face to face element. Stephen Roman who is regional director. Members of my team project coordinators have been given access. I wouldn’t attend the whole meeting then usually. I use SharePoint. it is project in development. So it is real overview stuff. So that is my main focus and it is all based around projects so. I: And the general management team in Brussels? R: That is once a month officially.

some were in Manchester. Did you receive information about what was happening with UK HQ support? R: I read about it on the intranet. because I’m lucky I have people there I have good professional contact with so I pick up the phone if I need to or I send individuals email but they send out to everybody on the Sci-net listing [ ] I: You said that you don’t get involved in to the ins and outs of the re-organisation in the UK. and I try to communicate with them and engage and I find .and other colleagues. I try to make direct contact with people that are going to be involved in a project that I am hoping to contribute to or get involved in that is more effective. Some were in London. the European intranet. Similarly there are different messages that I read whatever they call it the WENA or ENA intranet. I don’t go in to the ins and outs of that. R. It is not that I am not sympathetic to the changes that they had to undergo but to be frank with you it is impossible to keep pace of changes in our own region and in our own way of working and as long as I have a person that I can communicate with that is how I manage my business with the UK. I think it’s called Contracts and Project Science now. some were in Contracts.meeting. I think there were other messages that were sent out by our senior managers in the region but I went to visit the science team earlier this year and noticed they were very demoralised and they had been split up. I: Oh. because individuals were asked to make contributions so you would have a prepared contribution to the meeting that people were responsible for. That’s a good place to read what senior directors and regional directors have to say . That works very well. If you are going to do a project it gives you just a broader context and that would actually get signed off by one of the project managers. I: Are there any other means by which you get information? R: Of course through the British Council intranet and through information that is circulated either from regional project managers or through things like Sci-net. Exactly. I find it actually interesting. [ ] I: What kind of information are you getting from these channels? R: An update on say Darwin in 2009 it will be the anniversary and we are hoping we are going to have a large scale project on Darwin and they would just give you extra background information that would come across their desks and they are churning it out. I: What is that? R: Sci-net it is generated electronic newsletter but it is an intelligent one it compiles relevant data who have science in their portfolio and that comes through electronically but I think for me most of my focus internally is on all developments around strategy and projects so I would read Martin Davidson’s blog and things like that because I want to know about the way he is thinking in terms of the impact he is going to have on my work. They have re-designed the Science team.

well also it is the same old stuff. say. I do it weekly. You need time for that. I think that makes sense to me. And I follow links.. You know how it is on the web. I: So how do you feel about the amount of information about the organisation? R: I am very interested in the very high level in the strategic level within the Council and that doesn’t always automatically come to me. How relevant is the information that you receive on the intranet and email to you? R: If I go on the bulletin for instance I find that the notices are quite well set out. I will save documents as well . you receive emails from the organisation. You go on SharePoint because that is obviously embedded into the tasks you have to do. It is not as simple in some that is one of the problems isn’t it we are all having to have a certain need in the present climate to sell yourself and tick the .we get our funding from projects. The main thing is everyone is presenting themselves in the best light boxes that are up the value chain at the moment. in this broader context. I: You go on the intranet. a piece on Green Champions that is reporting the British Council in Tanzania I look at the pictures and I find it boring.. I could go daily go on the intranet.important documents then I don’t have to look for them. Some of the news I don’t find particularly inspiring to be quite frank. I: Because it is not relevant to you. Some are on Martin Davidson’s blog and I go back and read more. [ ] I: You say the news is not particularly inspiring. But on the other hand it is harder. it is harder to demonstrate your impact to an extent because it is a European project. That’s where I pick up the web blog from Martin Davidson and then I see something that is interesting to me I am not interested in UK Diabetes Day for instance but I would be interested in say Climate Change or Cultural Relations because that impacts on my work. Through regional projects so to an extent it means you are going to have more impact if you contextualise yourself to stay in Europe which I am happy to do as it happens because I feel European so I am pleased about being bigger and trying to get an increased impact by scaling things up. of course. I: Can you explain yourself a bit more? What do you mean having to lead in the present climate? R: Partly because of the new ways of working for offices overseas that we are don’t hold local funding. I mean it is worthy stuff but it is if it was any of my people I would have that connection none of it is a turn on to be frank. R: No. Often you get a message and it has links in it and I will follow those links. I don’t. R: It depends on what you mean because there is so much information isn’t there. why do you say that? R: It sounds a bit jaundiced to say it but if I was on there but I look at.I: How often do you get this information about the British Council or do you receive information about the British Council. that are of interest.

the questions they asked and the results they got. This is ad hoc or it is embedded in a project. and they have produced a paper which is again found on the intranet which is produced by the ENA programmes board. What were the priorities: people wanted to take project management training for example. I think David Green used to do that : send in questions and ask them live. People wanted roles to be more clearly defined. And the projects board brought out recommendations which I thought were excellent. I don’t know if Martin Davidson has done that. without adequate consultation with the people who are . This has been a huge issue in ENA: the roles and responsibilities assigned to them.also presenting the views of my team so if you like putting the case on their behalf. I: So what about it was particularly excellent about it in your opinion? R: They did a survey and they asked people. I don’t think we had the processes and resources and training in place for us to achieve it when we were asked to deliver against that so it’s been a rough old year. That was one of the high priorities.respects and it is more shared. People are dissatisfied in one of the offices or there are concerns about workload I would talk to my director about that . They did an audit of where things are they surveyed a lot of people and now they are making recommendations for how we can improve which is really good if acted on. I: Embedded in a project so you take the opportunities that arise but there are no set opportunities? R: I think sometimes there are opportunities created we have sent in questions in the past from this office. they showed in very clear graphs. That kind of document gives you confidence that things will improve. But I think we are making good progress. I: Do you think there are opportunities to let the organisation know how you feel about things that affect you in your work? R: I think that it is often a question of responding to particular need that is already self evident. [ ] It wasn’t clear who was accountable for what? I: What opportunities are there for you to feed your views or issues or ideas upwards? R: I do it directly sometimes to Stephen Roman because I work with him in our shared Europe working group context. to our Country Director in the Netherlands and the Country Director in Belgium. It is looking at large scale projects and how we can make them work better [ ] I immediately shared that with the rest of my team. But when it comes to levels of staff resourcing I try to influence that too. of course. I think it is good and I applaud it actually even though I think it is quite difficult for people in different countries to work satisfactorily together. He is our regional director and then. Now with the regional projects finance is very much tied to projects and I have tried to put the case for getting some money for developing partnerships [ ] Those decisions are made. I: that is up to corporate level? R: Yes. in my view.

he then churns it out. That is one of the issues in the Council people in leadership roles are often loathe to make decisions. at the moment you feel that you have some idea of what he is thinking and has taken the time to formulate his thoughts and so on so you need to do the same. first of all that I was prepared to spend the time and effort on it and. [ ] I: Outside of that you exercise quite a high level of self censorship? R: Yes. That seems very odd to me. you know. There isn’t always sufficient consideration given to the people on the ground. So. for example? R: I think if I had the time I could just write a message but I would want to prepare it you feel very aware of who your audience is and I’d like to do it in a structured way. I: What opportunities are there for you to get feedback? What has happened to those views or issues ? R: It could just go dead if you were not persistent. you were able to prepare beforehand you would feel this was more useful? R: Yes. High level stuff that comes to him. exactly. I:[ ] do you feel that you are able to feed up to Martin Davidson and the Executive Board. You need to do it probably with some context of a few others so that you could critique it get a balanced view before you could present it. Push if you like for a decision. I don’t think these ad hoc things are useful. To come back to things that are not yet resolved. Not waste my time or theirs. What happens is that in the past you feel resentment because you feel you made an effort and then nothing has been forthcoming so now I try to keep the thing on the boil and be fairly assertive. I: You know (the Executive Board) currently do this blog commenting on the post that they are making? R: If I felt strongly enough I would just do it actually. I am not particularly talking about projects I am talking about human resources to. It is easy to go on a rant and I don’t think that is worthwhile so I think I would need to feel. I am not saying I wouldn’t do it but I am saying I would like to take the time to prepare for it. getting the partners and raising the income. as I say. My reserve would disappear. To get their views and when high level decisions are made and. Again if there was something in there that I felt strongly about or wanted to discuss with him I would go in and do that. [ ] I: [ ] How satisfied are you that (your line manager) expresses the organisations goals and purpose clearly? R: He send things by email primarily. [ ] He does a sort of a round up of messages that he gets you wouldn’t feel comfortable . to do the job you are asked to do.actually delivering the projects. it would be critiqued by other colleagues. I: So would it be fairer to say that it is not so much about immediate feedback but if they created the time and space for this it was like a meeting you mentioned earlier a meeting with a clear agenda.

it becomes a little bit more tangible [ ] I: How well do you think he makes the connection about the general information that he is getting and passing out about the organisations business agenda and your goal? R: Not brilliant. On the one hand I think information is there to inform you so the clarity is essential so you give people the main message and if they want to know more you give them the opportunity so that if they want to know more they can follow through themselves . I imagine if I was in his seat I would have to be (?) about Exams as well. Not only my work but I want to learn from other people. One reason I like Martin Davidson’s messages is that he writes well.sometimes they come a bit late. he circulates to the whole office so then everybody can read for instance the management briefs . [ ] I: You’ve talked a lot about writing. I wouldn’t find that easy. Terminology and acronyms get out of hand. this is why I was talking about critiquing things [ ] Try to get the key messages across because people have so much to try to keep up with so many different areas. So for me that is the thing that fires me up and I want to be on top of that. I think it is important that people reflect which I think he tries to do reflect the world we are living in now the real world environment . he writes what he thinks and he sounds quite real to me. I: When you say terminology and acronyms get out of hand. I: Why do you say that? R: I think it is partly because everyone has their own priorities which is linked to their role in their organisation so if I said I am really passionate about projects and that for me the whole reason why the British Council existed how we engage with people how we deliver our projects is absolutely essential. So you get to hear different names from different people you don’t know who they are really but then you think oh. that’s somebody from Corporate Strategy. Are there other things that would be important to you in terms of internal communications? .so there feels like there is an attempt being made. And I don’t always feel as if he is sharing that vision and passion anyhow. Oh yeah. these management briefs and things. I do think they regard me as such the person who is going to go the extra mile for them and for projects. So you start to link it. I: What is important to you in terms of effective internal communications? R: Not too much. we are all guilty of that. you know. I try to be the champion for my team in that respect. what do you mean? R: In project management we’ve had a lot of discussions about outcomes and outputs and which is the correct one to use so it is also about agreement. yeah. We have to be more precise about what we mean sometimes and stick to it. we all get too much. he’s writing about that yeah and you get more of an idea of who that person is.and try to use the same terminology that is the thing about the Council is we keep re-naming things all the time. is fluent.from HQ.

entirely different matter when it comes to things like working group.I would bring real experts in. that’s what it is about. holding them accountable. We are always playing catch up when it comes to communications and I don’t think we have come into the 21st century yet. [ ] I: How satisfied are you with the way the Council performs in terms of communications? R: I think our communications are still very dodgy. Does the statement still apply that communications is dodgy and is it because of similar things you think? R: I don’t know if it is because of similar things we are tied up with the organisation we often feel ashamed of our are employees. I think you have to have face to face meetings or a combination of both with video or whatever there are ways to stay connected. I: With that kind of work you prefer some sort of interactive communication? R: I think that it is essential. better but we are only going to do that if we work with media partners. developing critical paths and giving people roles and responsibilities.. I: Turning back to the internal communications side of it. we contribute to it. This is the problem we are trying to give people opportunities but using someone who is a web master is not the right person very often to be writing the sexy whatever you need to do and connecting. [ ] I: I would like to bring you back to internal audience.saying we are too slow for our own mind set to change. What ways do you think internal communications could make that happen? R: I think they could theoretically help that but they the departments involved would have to be totally overhauled press and public relations in the UK not impressed at all. magazines in my view... If we keep saying we want to have a much higher impact bigger. the marcomms that we have in place to handle these large scale projects it is all done last minute under great pressure and without consultation with the project team. Also. Any dealings I have had with them and I think marcomms in the region are trying to deliver good strategies and expertise to the large scale projects but they are using British Council people who have built website I wouldn’t do that. That is where people connect and get turned on. I think that it is absurd that we hardly ever work with the BBC we have been around for God knows how long and look . We need to have an internal mind set change.R: I am very oriented towards written word especially messages that have to reach a very wide organisation like ours .. I don’t think that it works otherwise. It is all about building relationships with the outside world and I think that is what we need to be doing more often and using that expertise more often and draw on the expertise through partnerships and relationship building. we are it. so you can move on. And there has to be certain rigour about setting agendas and making it compliant. I don’t often web presence especially for external audiences. big broadcasters. bolder. social community websites. it’s us.

I: What are key roles to you? R: What is the remit in the UK. END OF TAPE . what is Arts director doing. You know. what really went on in Russia.so those sort of things you would like to hear very clear messages about. Edinburgh I think they should be more clarity about the focus of offices and say. Cardiff. The BBC are very tough people to manage and they want to call all the shots but on certain agenda’s there must be some be shared ambitions where we could work together. Some things go wrong say things go wrong in Russia or the Arts department and artists are ranting and raving in the press and then you think ‘where is the leadership. any role for the country director? R: Yes. what information would you like to receive about the organisation? [ ] R: On the intranet you can look at the structures of different countries and different departments in the UK and so on. I think I would like a bit more real meat about what people are actually doing that have key roles. I: What about Horizons video? R: I think we watched it once in this office. I: How would you like to receive this information? R: I think it is always good to have a combination of being updated face to face by someone who is au fait with all of this. I: So not a great channel for it. I: [ ] looking internally. Our regional director has done that some times and that’s very good [ ] when the new strategy came out I think they handled that fairly well (?) things went a bit quiet on commissioning for instance. What really went on in the Arts Department? What really went on in Science? What is the future for the UK ? There should be a mission statement. what are they going to do about this and why aren’t they telling us very clearly?’ . You mentioned the RD there. I do think it’s necessary for when the dust settles for someone to make an effort. There are things that are bit dodgy and then it gets quiet. I think so too .where we are sitting on Trafalgar Square and I think that it is absurd that senior management have not been able to build a more real and dynamic relationship with the BBC. I think the magazines sometimes set things out very succinctly BC Life and its forerunner.it should trickle down. I think that is a good way to get messages across.

youth team it is only since the restructuring that we have started to have interaction with these other teams and there are still loads of groups and departments within C&P that I do not have any experience of working with yet. I: You say should have some involvement in? R: Even if that is from it could be projects that we we can go for within C&P there are different types of projects that we can implement. British Council. So they are the full cost recovery types of projects that we would be involved in but there is also grant funded side and joint partnerships or co-funded projects. So the cost of actually implementing . Manchester. They would approach the BC and say would like to work with you on a particular project and they might fund a project themselves or it could be an owner like the European Commission or the World Bank or the Asian Development bank. There is a science team. I don’t have much exposure of the grant funded and joint partnership ones just mainly the full cost recovery although with UK Ops change we are now working with the sector team in Education. immediately around you all these other project managers are all involved in the same kind of projects you do in economic development? R: That’s right. I: So. Science and Society on grant funded projects. And a lot of the work has carried over from what used to be development services which was primarily full cost recovery work. I: Can you tell me a little bit about the overall size and structure of where you work? R: I am part of the governance team. I: What is your position exactly? R: I am a project manager in governance in C&P and mine sector that I am responsible for is Social and Economic Development so any projects or contracts that come under social and economic development I should have some involvement in. Project Manager. And also on the education side but that is completely separate from the people that I work with. I know that there are other teams in C&P but I don’t have a great deal of involvement with them. Key: I indicates interviewer R indicates respondent indicates a pause [ ] indicates part of the audiotape that has not been transcribed (?) indicates a word that is not clear [ ] I: How long have you worked for the British Council? R: 14 years.Interview E. England. So really I work with other project managers who cover mainly public admin reform or human rights and justice. Mon 30/06/08. There are full cost recovery ones which could be with a UK government like DFID or it could be overseas government and ministries.

risk on projects. Connie Price. I: How often do you receive this information about the Council? R: At the moment. I: From who or where do you receive most of your information about the British Council? Both corporate information outside C&P and information within C&P. Normally. Sometimes we get information and I don’t think that it is relevant to me or because it is not specific to C&P I don’t feel that I need to go. R: I think it is mainly electronically or online: emails. I: Who do you report to? R: I report to Sally Robinson. I don’t feel that I am in a standard kind of normal working pattern. They assess amongst other things. invitations to presentations on certain activities or particular projects not within C&P. Patrick Brazier. That would be face to face. I: Are you member of any management team within this area of governance? R: No I am not. I: What kind of information do you receive? R: Just from Martin Davidson telling where he has been recently. So.and delivering a project we were covering that within the budgets and financial proposals that we put forward in bids. big initiatives that are going on in the Council. I: What other kinds of other big initiatives might you think of? R: There was something about the England team this is what I mean they flash up and I will quickly read it and then dismiss it because I don’t see it as relevant to me or my team. as you have picked a time when I have come back from leave. If I went to everything that was being launched I would not have time to do my job.. I: Is that all from Martin or general email? R: Martin sends monthly emails I think. Looking first at corporate.or when there is some kind of initiative. Youth and Science of C&P. I have to report up to Sally on risk on projects and I have to report up to Sally on project risk. I: Are there any management teams? What are the management teams? R: The senior management team which consists of Sally. She is the Director of Governance. giving us a link to his latest blog. Sheila Lumsden. team meetings. I think it is about fortnightly or weekly it is sporadic I can’t say it is a regular thing or . I do tend to briefly read something and quickly dismiss it unless I think it is something that is particularly interesting or I would have contact with like the new commissioning process. whether that is technical or financial. BC Life. Sally does pick up information outside of C&P that would be relevant to us and feedback in the team meeting. the office bulletin. And I know that the one off activity comes out of invitations to maybe commissioning that will come up as and when something is new or being created and it is being launched. it seems to be as and . The bulk is what comes via email.

that has been more presentations and more emphasis at the planning stage or when pursuing projects how does that project fit in with our strategic objectives? Which programme area does it come under? So there is much more scrutiny of projects to make sure they align with corporate objectives. I would welcome that opportunity because it is face to face and it gives you time and opportunity to ask questions and get some kind of dialogue going. for example. which was very internally focussed in terms of it operated as its own business in a way. I: Does that mean that it is the opposite? Can you explain a little more about that? R: The office bulletin and the intranet does give you the option to go in and find out more about the Council if you have the time and the inclination to find out more. It was self sufficient and we were very much focussed on projects and delivery of projects and meeting client needs and demands we were a very sleek department but the downside of the department now seems to be coming out of recruitment is that we were very internally focussed and we weren’t looking outwardly at what the British Council was doing elsewhere the wider objectives of the Council and I think UK Ops change there is more emphasis on what is the Council doing elsewhere and what we do how that fits into the strategic objectives of the Council there is much more emphasis on that now than before. So. I: How timely do you think information is in general? . the Executive Board. I think that if I want to find out more information there are different sources that I have to go in to get it but I would not welcome lots more email info coming in as we get too much of it. That is more interactive than electronic and I am the kind of person that tries to print things off and read them rather than go away and read it over a sandwich at lunch rather than sit at my screen all day reading reams and reams of information. Intercultural dialogue is one which most of our projects come under and there have been more communication about the strategic benefit of what we do and how it feeds into the programme areas and that has not been by email. Opportunities to go to presentations and meet. [ ] I: How relevant is the information you receive? R: I have come from a department: development services. [ ] I: More emphasis on how you fit in etc: is this coming via those channels you mentioned email etc or is it via team meetings? In what ways are you getting to feel more of the council context? R: There have been more presentations in the last well certainly at the beginning of the UK Ops change from Patrick Brazier and from Mike Hardy to do with intercultural dialogue.I: how do you feel about the amount of information you currently receive about the information? R: I am not bombarded with it.

Getting a meeting with her is not always possible. I can also feed up to my line manager. In a recent Band 8 project manager recruitment news got round as to who one of the new project managers was going to be and some people knew about the outcome and some people didn’t and that is where you get negative thoughts about how we communicate as an organisation. It was an opportunity to network but also to share what we do. Usually this is face to face or via email if she is not available which is a big problem.R: Sometimes I think because there are so many layers of management communication gets filtered at different times and to different degrees a lot of this seems to be around recruitment and I don’t know why that could be a sign of something. there was a staff conference we had for C&P in Manchester which brought people from different areas of C&P together.her immediate line managees and people that report to her. People could give presentations or talks and would say ‘contact me if you have a question’ and I think that is a genuine invitation. I: That is gathering information from your team. I: What other opportunities are there to receive feedback once you have communicated upwards? R: I hold team meetings with my team so that we can discuss topics that have come about from meetings that I have had with Sally or I will just send an email that if they have questions to come and talk to me about it or I will ask for response by email. But I think there are too many constraints on her time and this has had a knock on effect on people within C&P . I always feel she is true to her word and responds to feedback that I have given. in response to their invitation. . I think the communication around UK Ops changed caused a lot of upset and disgruntlement amongst team members because there was a lot of uncertainty and inaccuracy of communication that it caused more damage than good. What I am saying is that once you feed up what do you feel about the response you get from that ? Do you get a response? R: I do from my line manager. So if I wanted to take up an issue with someone from the Executive Board that there was a channel for me to do that. We are a large organisation but if we can’t communicate effectively amongst a smaller group between ourselves I find it an almost impossible task to reach everybody at the same time on larger issues. As yet I have not taken up the invitation to contact anyone from the executive board or Martin Davidson or Mike Hardy because I did not feel the need to but I know that if I did want to I could. This is not a reflection on her at all as when she is available she will listen and give advice as appropriate. She has responsibility for a large number of people and she does not have the time physically to cater to lots of project managers and people in her team. at presentations for example. [ ] I: What kind of opportunities are there for you to feed your views or issues upwards? R: Nowadays. My line manager will respond almost immediately or will say she will get back to me deal with something and let me know the outcome.

It is always at the forefront of her mind as a manager you have to have the business at the front of your mind but also balance that with people’s well being and how individuals operate and how they are performing. I: What about how? R: Because of the volume of emails I get. I: What kind of things alienate? R: If you are used to using language that is high level that is not familiar to people that will alienate that is too high level. Whereas email. Verbal. I: What is important to you in terms of effective communications? R: I think the timing of it it has to be released or given out at a time that is appropriate i. The thing that I mentioned earlier. I: How satisfied are you that she expresses the organisations purpose and goals clearly? R: Very satisfied. A clear message that has a purpose I will give an example having team meetings is a good opportunity or vehicle for communicating but I am not up for having team meetings every week because it is every week and it is 2 o’clock which is what we always do.I: Do you think she makes a connection between the general information about the organisations business agenda and your goals? R: She is always re-affirming the same message. not after the event some people shouldn’t get information at one time and then others at another it should all across the board wherever possible. it’s more of a two-way thing. People will think this is sounding a bit too much like it’s not really for me. meetings. I don’t think email or online communication is best. If I have concerns about a project that Education. online it is all one way. to do with . Appropriate language is used that is not going to alienate members of the Council which is hard to try to engage everybody but the important thing is not to alienate. Science and Society are considering bidding for and I don’t think that it is a viable project then she will review the project and re-affirm whether or not she thinks I am on the right lines or whether she disagrees.e. Just as an example. it sounds like too much management speak and switch off. what their well being is [ ] so she is very clear on what we should and shouldn’t be doing and often reinforces that message. You get more of a response as well. There has to be a real purpose behind it and structure a reason. if I read something or am invited to something that I do not see any direct relevance I am inclined to dismiss it I guess you have to gauge quite quickly or early on whether something is of relevance or interest to you. [ ] I: What other factors? R: Relevance I think. you are reading it but you can’t actually feedback. There is no dialogue I don’t think we’ll ever beat having face to face communication. face to face or on the telephone is a better way of communicating. That there is something in there that is relevant to me or my team and what we are doing.

even though that is two way that wouldn’t be persuasive for you. It’s just changing the ways we’ve communicated in the past and it is becoming more virtual I guess. I: “may or may not have to apply” seems like no message at all so. I: Getting into the swing of things. with UK Ops change I know there were a lot of I: What things make you unhappy about internal communication performance? R: When it is uncertainties but that inaccuracy of information and the fact that it changed quite regularly I found that confusing and it caused a lot of worry for people. There was a caveat under every message that this is only indicative and things may or are likely to change it is just to keep you updated. so that kind of online way of discussing. being shown and putting into practice. some people were told you may or may not have to apply for your job and it is quite a large proportion of development services at the time and they were unsettled by the messages that were being communicated. it is only a small proportion of you that will have to apply for your jobs’ so managers like myself had to go around and pick up the pieces where people were under stress. For example. R: Yes [ ] inaccurate.banking. [ ] I wouldn’t dismiss it at all. I: How satisfied with the BC as a whole with the way it performs? [ [ ] ] I: talking about communication that the BC has with you that enables you to do your job? R: In the 14 years I have been in the Council communication is an area that is always being talked about that could be improved and no matter what lengths people go to in the British Council I think it will always be an issue because you rely on individuals to pass on information and information does not always flow naturally or it doesn’t always get to . I just think it takes a bit of time to get into the swing of things. It is not my preference but it is not to say I wouldn’t do it if there was some relevance and it was an activity I was involved in. no. I: You know there is the executive blog where they invite you to comment or SharePoints with discussion boards. I don’t think that strategy did pay off in the end because people were affected by it. If I start using SharePoint more I may say ‘wow. this is really good’ and recognise the value in it. would don’t know have been a stronger message than may or may not? R: Probably. And then they were told ‘no. I went to the bank yesterday. SharePoint is something that is quite new to me and I’m seeing a little bit more about it. For instance. R: It is not my preferred way but I think it has its place in the Council because it enables people in other countries to have a discussion virtually. I would rather speak to someone face to face than go on the internet. I am open to new ways of doing things.

conducted conversations with local managers and we have done this.maybe we need a clear indication of what kind of information is best conveyed face to face. that and the other [ [ ] ] The more opportunities there are to give feedback the better I: What are the problems and how do you think they can be improved? R: I don’t know if there is a communication plan that exists anywhere within different departments but with the business continuity plan there is a clear order of contacting people in case of an emergency. For example. Also with the Pay B6 external recruitment there wasn’t any advanced warning or that an advert had gone out on the website I think this was the BC website and the Adecco temps website. by email. I don’t think that. It can be perceived in different ways. you are sort of guessing whether the reason they look down today is because they got out of bed the wrong side or they have been let down and they haven’t been successful in a job interview. I can have a meeting with my line manager or we have a team meeting and she’ll cover information that she has gathered from various sources which is usually covered in minutes by the PA and they are circulated to the project managers and then I will circulate it in the same way to my team. when someone I line manage applies for a job and they have to copy me into the email and I will get a response from HR as to whether that person has been successful. or whether something really needs to be discussed with teams. Maybe some more guidance as to ‘this really needs to be communicated verbally with your teams and you need to have a discussion about it’ or but recruitment seems to be an area that causes a lot of grief. As long as people feel that what we are doing now isn’t just lip service and nothing is going to come of it management will then say in response to the staff survey we have carried out. I think that as a line manager if someone has been rejected you need to step in and be supportive but if you have no knowledge unless that person comes and tells you. That is a clear structure. There were temps in my team and other teams that were waiting for a chance to procure or apply for a permanent job within the British Council and we didn’t know anything about it. necessarily. The Council recognises that communication is important and having the staff survey is a good opportunity for people to provide thoughts and views on the British Council. But I don’t have a weekly team meeting with them to go through these issues. And obviously the Council is responding to comments made in the staff survey and I think that is a positive. But what I will do is highlight particular areas of relevance or importance or they have a deadline with my team. But I won’t get a response or copied into an email to say they haven’t been successful. That is similar to something that is going on at the moment there is another Pay B6 external recruitment planned and we haven’t got any information on it. we’ve and if still no improvement at the end of that that is when people become cynical. And rumours are flying around [ ] .everybody. there is that clear a communication structure for managers and what kind of information is best .

But if you imagine that is not working well within every single department as a whole it adds up to poor communication. Or if individual perception changed or improved 12 months down the line. Well. there are lots of different ways that we communicate as an organisation now. the bulletin [ ] I: Is it covering the information you’d like to see. In the UK because there is very little understanding or appreciation of what we do raising our profile is important and I think it would boost people’s morale here because we are being valued more [ ] and it may encourage organisations that have not heard of us before to want to work with us. SharePoint is one that I have very little . [ ] I: Is there anything we haven’t spoken about that you would like to mention? R: I think going back to the communication if it is to do with individuals we are all different and information can be perceived in different ways. I know that there is a strategy to improve the profile within the UK which I think is really good . [ ] I: What kind of features would satisfy you that this giving and receiving of information was happening successfully? R: I am interested to see the outcome of this conversation. We used to have communication skills training years ago and it may have been part of a middle management course that was run but that stopped a long time ago. R: Maybe. From my personal point of view. What happens next. A lot of it is online training now and if it is communication I would not recommend online training because I think you need to have that discussion with people. yes it has improved? R: If the staff survey indicated that there was an improvement that would be good enough for me. trying to work with another department if that communication between 2 or 3 people is not working as well as it could be I think that is just a small example that is not working well.I: What exactly is the kind of information that you would like to receive about the Council? R: The thing is the information about the Council is available in BC Life. I think that to have effective communication in a large organisation is a hard challenge to overcome [ ] I: Do you think this is a training and development issue? Maybe it is about individual awareness of different styles and people becoming aware of different styles etc and people having to become consciously competent before applying it. where it goes it is nice to have an audit trail what was the final outcome and did that make a difference to me [ ] I: What kind of things would give you those signals that ‘yes’ it has changed.the times I have gone overseas [ people know the British Council ] As an individual I feel that we are doing is worthwhile when people recognise what you are doing. R: I don’t know. the intranet.

experience of. . even things like PowWowNow. It’s a means of communication [ ] It may be worth exploring.

I: So what is it exactly that you do? R: Well there is a big site with a three schools: an early year centre. So. Basically in the UK there are technology colleges that are way ahead. a secondary school and there is also a teaching centre called the Somasaguas Teaching centre which is big teaching centre too. But if you compared us to the UK we would probably be somewhere in the middle certainly not in the first league. an IT assistant. my job is to maintain all the equipment and develop it. principally by English developments and English schools. I: Is that driven by Spanish education law? R: it is driven. a consultant comes in once a week so we have a good team and basically I am the manager for that team responsible for the IT infrastructure and the day to day running and the planning of it too the planning for the development for it which is particularly important in the school. British Council. Madrid. with about a thousand or more students and obviously there is a lot of IT equipment and I am the IT manager of the whole site. It is development which is completely atypical. it doesn’t happen anywhere else in the Council in terms of developments we have to get into because we are a school. there isn’t at the moment as one of them is vacant. [ ] I: Who do you report to? R: I report to Norman. There should be a head of secondary but Norman is acting head of secondary as well and then there is a head of early years and an acting head . Tues 09/07/08. way behind anything that is happening in the UK and we are probably at the cutting edge in Spain. yes? R: Yes. the Head of the school head of the whole school. We are always looking at good UK schools and seeing at what they are doing in IT and basically shadowing them as far as possible. a primary school. Spain. In fact. The director of the school and then underneath him there are three heads of school. I work with five other people: some IT administrators. no. IT.Interview F. In many ways Spanish schools are way. Key: I indicates interviewer R indicates respondent indicates a pause [ ] indicates part of the audiotape that has not been transcribed (?) indicates a word that is not clear [ ] I: How long have you worked for the British Council? R: since 1988 [ ] I: So you are the IT Manager.

Our back office is GTI2 and totally down the line standard. Our front office is independent and that means that although all their English teaching centre global programmes are installed they don’t have the same active desktop as you might get in (?) in Madrid for example. of English. In some ways that is good for the teaching centre and in other ways it is difficult for the teaching centre. Under the head of secondary has a management team of five senior teachers and the head of primary has a management team of four senior teachers. the Director of Spain together with the British Council in London to appoint a new Director of the school since December 2006 when the previous head left but without success and I think we have gone through two rounds of interviews.and Marian so four sections.of primary actually.. I think that they tend to get more stuff and more pretty good stuff but they don’t exactly get the same as other teaching centres get all the time because most of the investment for IT stuff comes from the school and the teaching centre pay a much smaller percentage of what we do.. And then you get corresponding . of Maths who are also important figures on the academic and curriculum side. The senior teachers and the head of sections and the head of school form the SMT. for example. teaching centre manager there fit? R: The teaching centre manager. The school is going through a bit of a period of transition because Norman is the acting head of the school so he has the unique distinction of having two acting jobs at the moment the reason being that the British Council in London well. exactly. The head of early years has a management team of three senior teachers. we try to follow the British Council standard as far possible but it is not always possible as they are sharing our rooms and our front office at the school is not a GTI2 front office. And then in the school underneath the seniors you tend to get quite a range of posts you get posts like. [ ] I: Where does the.plus me I am sort of the rogue member of the SMT as I don’t belong to any particular section of the school but together that forms the overall management team for the school. The teaching centre has four senior teachers underneath Marian so they all collectively form the SMT for the school and the teaching centre. And in the teaching centre you have the director and the four SMT’s and then you have three coordinators who coordinate different aspects like juniors or senior or adults. I: What kind of management teams are involved here? R: Under the head of each section of the school. personal and social development is a very important role and then in the secondary school you also get your heads of faculties of humanities. It is our independent office.. The teaching centre manager is not my line manager but obviously I often talk to Marian Goncalves I often talk to Marian. I presume. an interesting post like you get key stage leaders [ ] who are more on the pastoral than the academic side they are looking after the well being of the students. Therefore.. Obviously they have slightly different needs than the school has but the school tends to call the shots in IT because we share the same building.

I tend to read quite quickly. per se. it would seem to me. I: You say you tend to know what is going on before you go to the SMT is that because of email circulars that are going around or ? R: Email circulars or just conversations with colleagues. information about IT I’ll get communications from WENA from the WENA team in Manchester. I got information about the BCTN and other developments which are going on at corporate level. to be honest. Is there any kind of team briefings via the management team that you are on? R: The SMT has a meeting every Monday and so. So there are those meetings. Then I tend to go looking for information I need. R: The intranet I suppose. The Martin Davidson circular. And with loads of people from the school personally I get loads of email from people with information needs. for example. I will check out the intranet and find documents I need there is a lot of stuff on the intranet in the IT and GIS section and corporate communications at that level. I will get information about that through the IT . The SMS project any project that GIS are running. A lot of information is passed around informally through lunchtime we have a very good canteen at school and very good meals so people often eat together so we tend to chat about things and that is a very important source of communication I’d say you hear about things that are going on and you ask questions that wouldn’t necessarily be asked in a more formal context. as well. I: A lot of that is electronic based. for example. I don’t go to the briefings but the teachers at the school have Monday morning briefings in the morning break and that is given by one of the senior teachers generally. We just brief them on things that are coming up during the week. For the staff. Then generally within Spain and the school there are loads of IT emails for example Puy Larraz who is the IT manager pan-Spain he is the coordinator for the teaching centres. those meetings there is information that is passed on at those meetings. There are notice boards more for the teachers [ ] but I think more and more we use email for communication. I: What information do you receive about the organisation? R: I tend to get the information that relates to IT so. There are a range of middle management posts at that level as well working with senior teachers and implementing the curriculum. I: So from who or where do you receive most of your information about the British Council at organisation level? [ ] I: Corporate then Spain. regional director’s letter and things like that which. I get a lot of information from outside the Council like suppliers and other people who are involved.figures on the primary side to some degree because you get Science coordinator and maths coordinator as well as your key stage leaders. They tend to be a summary of what is going we tend to know what is going on by the time we go to the meetings so it is more a discussion of things than information.

I: How often do you receive information. I: You mentioned the IT managers forum. Very often there is nothing in it. Is that just a regional mailing list? R: let me see. I: You mentioned the mailing list WENA. Very often actually. Is that a mailing distribution list? R: Yes. Yes it is.managers forum and the IT managers mailing list which goes out from WENA and usually that information is relayed by the pan-Spain IT manager. It is very technical stuff installations that are mandatory or optional.a release goes out on a weekly basis almost with any points that need chasing up any action points I forgot the title of it Support Release or something. I: Are you a member of it? R: Yes. is that those things tend to arrive not necessarily at the point when I am interested in receiving that information so you get this long circular in your inbox at the point that a computer crash is going on and you don’t bother reading it and it disappears. I: What about BC World? There is the weekly update that goes out from there that goes out from that? What kind of information do you feel that carries? like updates for these programmes and . I’ll look it up on the intranet’ and you read it there. I don’t really get information at all about anything outside IT. really. I: And the more strategic type of information. Not much else. The only way I tend to get that information is if I go looking for it myself [ ] I am sure in the past I have had a sort of central circular email from Martin Davidson about things like that (Strategy 2010). we went live with FABS in April so we had a lot of information in the few months before that [ ]. The problem with things like that. either at the IT related or strategic? R: IT information. so whenever a project is coming to fruition we get the information then. How often do you receive that do you think? R: Very rarely I think on that front. I: And is that global? R: Yes. it’s called. of relevance. And then you go ‘ah. So to some degree information arrives whenever and not necessarily when you want it [ ]. for me. Just the general newsletters that come from Martin Davidson and that kind of thing really. I don’t think that we get much information about strategic things or the British Council’s bigger objective. But then later on you think it might be quite nice to know something about that so you go looking for it because by that time the email has been deleted probably. I: The information you get for say corporate level IT projects? R: That would only come out when a project is at a certain stage and they have decided to inform everybody about the project and that would come. for example. I get that kind of information. The email goes out from WENA .

I: What about the overall direction of the British Council like Martin. the executive board. sort of.? R: I got that by reading the strategy page on the intranet.even if it is a quick action like ‘I have been locked out of my account’ or ’my projector is not working’ so they often require replies so I really don’t have very much time to browse things are not absolutely essential and so I don’t. But if it is extra information that I can dispense with I do and I am quite ruthless about that I suppose. I am totally swamped with email. strategic decisions I don’t think they are decisions that my input would be any use at all. But if I had a particular . the kind of decisions that have been made do you think that is relevant information for you? R: I don’t think it is particularly relevant to me in my role now. I see my role as to make a good job of the particular place I am in the British Council what role it plays in terms of the importance of forming partnerships and influencing important members of Spanish society that is fine. I think it is relevant to the heads of the school the level above me because there is really very little input that I would have into those kinds of decisions that are sort of political. I don’t think I would feed up to anyone beyond the head of school so there is probably more opportunity to do it but I don’t think I would use it like the staff survey.What would be useful for me. The problem is that for me in particular.. [ ] I am quite happy to be informed by those decisions but not to be bombarded with information about them because I don’t particularly think it would be relevant. If I need information I know where to go and get it but then I’ll need it because I have a job to do. concrete things to use in my current job but there is so little that is comparable to a school in the British Council so that is part of the reason I am not interested in a lot of information. I can easily get 150 emails a day and some days maybe less and lots of them do require some kind of action as well . And it is not that I would like more time to peruse and to read and to get a sense of what is going on but there isn’t more time [ ] The one thing that I may very quickly look at is the bulletin but not even regularly.R: I hardly ever use it. I mean if I look at BC World it would be interesting to see what projects are being done elsewhere but it doesn’t help me in my day to day job particularly . It might be very relevant but I somehow doubt it. that is where it fits in. I: Where do you get to know about those roles: the importance of forming partnerships or influencing key. I am not saying that they aren’t very good I am sure they are. I accept that. for example. I: What opportunities are there for you to feed your views or issues or ideas upwards? R: I suppose the opportunity for me would be the SM meetings at the school itself. What do we do now? We make it the best school we can. would be if some English school forum sent me a set of things that they had been doing in a school in England and gave me. I: How relevant is the information that you receive? R: I don’t know to some degree because I don’t read it well enough.

view about something. Buying a SAP system for an organisation like the British Council is crazy.partly because its history and connection to government inflated idea. I think that often the British Council thinks of itself as a very big organisation because it is global and in fact it is a small organisation it has very small offices in about 90 countries and a few big offices in a few countries but add them altogether . That is the way I would do it and talk about it to colleagues. I: So the heart of that is that you don’t feel there are opportunities to talk about it decisions were taken. But that kind of thinking on my part I wouldn’t say that to anyone there is no one to say that to and it wouldn’t be worth saying anyway because the decision would have been taken so no that is why I think there is some sort of communication breakdown or maybe I just don’t know enough or I have the wrong end of the stick talk about those kinds of things is not there. roll out happened and you don’t have a full picture and there was no advance consultation for any kind of heads up before the decision then? even the opportunity to . I am not suggesting things that are outside the control of the school at the moment [ ]. for example. I: What kind of opportunity for you to receive feedback on the things you communicated upwards? R: I suppose the things that I am communicated upwards are things that I have already thought through to some degree ’go ahead and do it’ is the feedback quite often. climate change which the Council is interested in now I would make suggestions and have done about things like printing reduce printing and economise so I would feed into our management meetings.you realise that to it has a slightly some degree . I: What opportunities are there for you to let the organisation know about how you feel about things that affect you in your work? R: That would be FABS. We are going to move to this photocopier which is more economical or we are going to start using the school website to pass information to parents which is again one of the objectives I have at the moment to [ ]. I filled it in one year. I: Why don’t you take advantage of the staff survey? R: I am too busy to be honest. Personally as an IT person my overview of FABS is that it is overkill. Nothing more than that. My own view about that decision is that it was taken by people who probably know very little about technology probably are very worried that they may make a mistake and don’t want to take any risks so they have gone for the very best top of the range costs a fortune. It is quite a long thing and it goes on a bit. The kind of needs that the British Council has could be run on a Microsoft SQL system or something like that. SAP system is designed to run airports and huge manufacturing industries.and it is not that big so why does it need something like FABS because its image of itself has been distorted if you compare it to a really big company something like Microsoft or Fiat .

So when you say how does he express the organisation’s principals and strategies probably not that directly actually. I: How satisfied are you that Norman expresses the organisations purpose and goals clearly? R: I think he does and doesn’t. keep the kids happy first of all .R: Yes.not necessarily taking them into account. When I came as a manager I just chucked away all the crap that was in our folder and began again really. I: How well do you think then he makes the connection between general information about the organisation and your goals? R: He makes the connection explicitly he will sort of point things out at meetings and say ‘the Council is working on this and we have to bear this in mind’ but I don’t think he integrates the Council’s aims and objectives into our work particularly. I think that is probably normal for things to be done like that in most places not just the BC. re-documenting. Do I think he is expressing the aims of the organisation I think he is going beyond that I think he is way past the aims of the organisation really left behind a long while ago. Keep the parents happy.give them a good education. He bears it in mind I think but Norman’s chief goal is to make the school a great place for the kids his priority is always the kids at school and obviously he is trying to weave in the BC’s objective into what we do but basically he wants to run a good school. But I think there could have been some sort of consultation about something that big before hand and asking for opinions really . He tends to remember the Council’s strategic objective every now and then and will voice them at meetings and things but I think they are probably second. You would never take any decision. very hard with people above him to be allowed to go ahead. In my experience he has to fight very. But then again I guess you can’t talk about that kind of decision to every member of the BC. re-writing and only putting in stuff that was true that worked and that . I think his experience comes from being head in other schools and he knows what he wants and he has a very clear vision of how a good school should be run. I think that he has his own agenda and that is the one he is following. I: What is important to you in terms of effective internal communication? [ ] in managing my own team what is effective is documentation of our it is very clear R: In my own team processes of our solutions to things and our ways of working documentation we built up in our folder on the G drive very relevant documentation. It may be that the organisations aims and objectives coincide with his agenda but that is very nice and he might point that out at the time but I don’t think that is what is driving it fundamentally and I am not trying knock Norman at all I think that Norman’s vision for the school and his management as head of the school is absolutely A1 and he has driven it forward but I think that it has come from him not the British Council because he is actually a leader he seems to me to lead much more than the British Council’s senior management in London [ ]. that is probably about right.

per se. I will tell you why. I was obviously serious about that. [ ] I: So you like things to be set our quite explicitly do you? R: Absolutely.. for example building maintenance. The documentation has been absolutely essential. for example. And then there is another area of my work which overlaps with facilities. I am not interested in the British Council at all. I think it is essential. I am not particularly bothered about receiving information about the British Council. there is a lot of complexity on the network and when new people come into the team they need documents that they can pick up and read and understand.had paid dividends because when I came my team was two and now it is five Number two in communicating to my team each other and there has been lots of training in that period. For example. there are two areas of my job: one is on the curriculum side where I obviously need to know from heads of faculty often the people managing the curriculum what they perceive as their needs what type of software they think they need to have effective lessons. There are certain areas of work in the school where people overlap responsibilities. It should be focussing more outside itself more like an NGO. have a good filing system. make it accessible. Thirdly email: passing emails to each other and that is in the school in general but it is also going through the same method as I mentioned for my team are creating documentation about things.and if they don’t communicate that to me in one way or another it makes it a problem to me because maybe they just go ahead and buy something and then we can’t install it because of a technical reason. I think that the British Council spends a lot of time thinking about communication but I think it also spends a lot of time navel gazing as well. so for example. the classic case the other day was the other day the facilities manager called in some electricians to put in some air conditioning not my area of responsibility but it overlaps because the electricians the circuit blew all the IT set up the air conditioning circuit on top on an IT circuit equipment went out and that was the third day of the summer course so that had not been communicated. [ ] I: What things would make you unhappy with internal communication performance? R: Finding out about things that I am supposed to have had an involvement in out too late. Failure to see when things are overlapping and communicate is the most obvious area that frustrates me [ I: What information would you like to receive about the organisation? R: I think you are talking to the wrong person when you ask these questions John. more formal meetings. I work very closely with them we all sit near so I pass on information very often simply verbally or often I will say have a look at this document it is worth looking at or did you see this email or I just tell people directly a lot of verbal communication we have meetings once every two week.. I am only interested in what the British Council can do for other people. [ ] As simple as possible things are not necessarily simple but keep people it as clear as possible. To be more focussed on others and not ] Communication is not the objective to me it is so much focussed on its own processes [ ] .

I: What about the blog that the executive board is trying at the moment as a way of talking to them? or any kind of project. [ ] I: What features would satisfy you that giving and receiving feedback was working effectively? R: It would be nice to receive a personal reply from a senior manager.. what the benefits were.very important to communicate it is important to do something. I would like to receive information about FABS a lot earlier and as I said before why it is being done.. talking and passing on documentation is no. Actually there explaining why they are doing things and to be open to questions that would help because I think that would get rid of the sense of bureaucracy in the process I think bring back some of the passion because you would see that people were bothered about what they were doing and would be able to explain it face to face. Perhaps catch some of their personal involvement and commitment to these things rather than managing them. [ ] People don’t all have the same opinions. I: Even if you said in your team working closely. to communicate in order to do things if it is the needs of the school [ ] to tell me about what it’s doing in a general way that. the necessity for it or not partnerships. If senior managers came out to the school sort of working out in the field that would be very nice too.performing a presentation. General replies back to groups of people don’t really work. [ ] How would you prefer to receive this information? R: I would like to receive it in a written format more effective? R: I was thinking in the sense that that communication could be from London.PowerPoint or an email. [ ] I: When would you expect to receive this kind of information? R: I would like to receive it at the beginning of the processes rather than at the end. I don’t particularly want . If I was to write to Martin Davidson about some issues once in a while you could get a reply back about something very valuable maybe not affecting many people but valuable. [ ] I would like the BC to communicate with a purpose. I don’t think that it realistic because how are they going to do that going around the world? There are too many places and too many offices so that is why I say written but yes I would like to talk to someone face to face and to talk to the senior managers like we are talking. and being lumped together in those kind of communications don’t really say anything or do anything really. makes people feel listened to. I would like to hear at the planning stage. Really. I: You are not the wrong person at all. I would like to hear what the Council is doing about global warming and climate change .

video conferencing anything that will bring senior executives closer to out there overseas and the UK as well. having to listen and not simply to reply back. [ ] So communication going the other way from the grass roots up. I: Is there anything we haven’t spoke about that you would like to mention? R: Maybe.this is new stuff generating ideas so a great idea pool that we can send ideas to but at senior level. I: Are there any other ways that internal communications could be improved? R: I think using web 2 technology is a very important way of communicating: chats. what would be nice would be the organisation communicating with us and its objectives and strategies to us maybe we should have someone listening there as well so if we feel we have a good idea we can communicate up not within context of strategies . Having some time in their agendas. I: How would you visualise that? Some sort of forum or ? R: A forum or it could be in the form of every week SMT home in via video conference to a particular site in the British Council and they listen to ideas they have and the people at that site get to see them and they get to see the people at the site to some degree normal staff [ ] not necessarily managers. [ ] Chat rooms would be another good idea.R: That is a good idea. blogs. . I am talking about people communicating with them about possibilities of things.

Appendix 4 Coding system .

Colour coding system Theme ways in which middle managers receive information information overload information middle managers currently receive relevancy of information receive segmentation preference for receiving information knowledge/ training opportunities and expectations in relation to senior managers for dialogue Pink Not coded. arose from analysis Purple Dashed Orange Line Orange Dashed Green Line Green Colour Code Yellow .

Appendix 5 Sample coded transcript with marginal notes (Hard copy only) .

Appendix 6
Within-case checklist matrices

Case A checklist matrix Theme Ways receive information Data from coded material and relevant quotes Management Coordination Team comprises of a number of managers at different grades. meets once a week. BC net, the intranet, office bulletin, our own regional sort of website called Tawasul. if you are a member of any international sort of networks then you get communication from them either through a SharePoint and email if you are part of social community. (on Tawasul) sometimes you will find some helpful documents. current country director sends a weekly sort of letter to ‘all staff’ where he summarises all sorts of success stories. If he gets anything important from the UK from lets say from the Chief Executive Officer he will circulate it to ‘all staff’. if he receives something that he thinks is relevant to other people then he will send it. overload There is information but I don’t always use it. In my view I think you can get too much information and I think that too much information is the same as too little information because you don’t really have the time to access it all and so you become very selective about it all. Information currently receive announcements about anything that has been newly introduced new jobs deadlines to be met developments on SAP. Tawasul is also developments that are happening in the region like projects that are going on, every success story and sometimes you will find some helpful documents like a PowerPoint presentation about something that someone has used and they thought this might be helpful to others.

Relevancy of information receive

it depends how much you feel any development elsewhere will impact on your work. Not everybody would feel the same. Let’s say, for example, particularly on the business support side because you are not on the operational side it is very difficult to think in terms of how much any operational development would impact on your work. You feel you are a bit away from all this. I have an opportunity because I attend the weekly meeting this is where I come to hear about what others are doing and get explanations and objectives or plans we are heading towards. We get all communications about the regional plans although I did not always access it as I did not feel that it was relevant to what I was doing as a business support section. I think it helps link what I am doing with some other goals it makes you feel part of the whole rather than a separate thing which other people don’t see. (improvements in terms of the CEO) wanting something clarity. I

think that the fact that he talks about him he talks about what he wants what he wants people to do this personalisation makes me feel that it is a real message

I have an interest because I always want to know what is new on the HR side or performance management and things like that but if I am not interested I won’t access it.segmentation I think it really depends on the person on whether you have an interest in accessing this information or not. let’s say a message to all staff you will not necessarily treat it with the same importance as when you receive something which is addressed to you. . a general message that is to everybody.

I will listen to the message but email. a message to all staff . And either I access it or I don’t. If you want to do me a number of things then email is a record of what is required so it is not left to your memory. I feel that the SharePoints that are being used at the moment will be a good means of communicating like the Wiki and things like that if people understand what to do with them. if we wanted to share knowledge about initiatives elsewhere maybe linking through the office bulletin. This is when many people leave the office for the weekend if I do not access it when it arrives I may not read it until after the weekend. if they want meaningful information they should give me . Face to face because I will understand. I feel that face to face communication is more effective because you feel more important and in this way more responsible.Preference for receiving information The office bulletin arrives in Egypt at 3 o’clock on Thursday.you will not necessarily treat it with the same importance as when you receive something which is addressed to you. some of the results that they want more time. It depends on how much you want to be proactive about it. if it is not addressed to me personally I might just wipe it.

I think we need someone to train people there or to let them know the difference between this and that. at the moment people start using tools in headquarters they tell you something about it in writing. You quickly read about this and start accessing but I want to understand the value of this mechanism. get them to think about what tools they use for certain messages or certain communications. . We don’t know enough about the tools of communication to allow us to choose the best method for certain type of communication.Knowledge/ training people need to be trained on how to use other tools that are more modern tools of communicating and understand their value.

Opportunities and expectations in relation to senior managers for dialogue At the country level mostly during the performance reviews in the weekly meetings that we have. giving and receiving feedback has to become a value in the British Council feedback Even though we have had a course about giving upwards in the end people are still frightened to give upwards feedback. something I tell myself ‘why don’t you write something in the Horizon to air out your concern’ but it never happens. I usually get feedback. you always have an opportunity to air a concern if there is one I do not make a conscious effort to talk regionally opportunity If I communicate an idea to let’s say country director or a colleague. for example. I usually get an answer and if I am very persistent. sometimes people forget about it so I send a reminder and say can you please let me know. they fear that if you give feedback to your line manager and they may be upset then they may give you a bad evaluation and this sort of thing I don’t know whether there is an .

Contracts and Projects Staff conference C&P senior management team were there Martin does.Case B checklist matrix Theme Ways receive information Data from coded material and relevant quotes C&P newsletter. the British Council weekly bulletin. on the intranet for Strategy 2010 there was a site with documents overload Information currently receive strategy on working. come up to Manchester for presentations. middle management do not receive the management brief I don’t get much information out of (line manager) because she has been given a huge span of command so I see her once every couple of months. I think it is once a quarter or something. BC Life the monthly email from Martin Davidson which I do not find particularly helpful. for example. the grapevine and by mining information from colleagues working on similar type projects You almost feel like you are pulling information from the organisation rather than it being there when you need it. on the global products C&P business plan circulated to everybody all the . meetings with her line managees once a week it’s supposed to be once a week but for various reasons some of them get cancelled.

Relevancy of information receive C&P newsletter on some good information on some of the current projects that we are working feel like you are pulling information late by the time it does we will probably have found out already through unofficial channels. factual information that she is required to pass down rather than the British Council has a new (?) paper which I never heard about that would be interesting segmentation more information from a senior level about the visions for the future for the Council and see how that percolates down to what I actually do in C&P that all the project managers that are work on the new global or regional products from commissioning that they should all be linked up .

In person. more information from a senior level about the visions for the future for the Council and see how that percolates down to what I actually do in C&P that all the project managers that are work on the new global or regional products from commissioning that they should all be linked up Knowledge/ training for line . look at our portfolio and our pipeline a snapshot of where we are and where we were going more time from senior management to managing.Preference for receiving information a forum for exchange of ideas. And the same for C&P management every quarter. in Manchester. for managing people across our teams or for managing our portfolio across our teams unpack the top level of British Council outcomes and outputs so we know what we are supposed to be doing because I am a bit lost as to what we should be doing in the Council. on the intranet for Strategy 2010 there was a site with documents The bulletin reminded you that there was stuff going on there chat about how things are going strategically within the organisation value having people from senior management like Martin Davidson give an update or presentation once every six months or so.

for yourself. Annual Staff Survey presentations from Martin Davidson and Cathy if you try to really question the organisation or people high up you are seen to be a problem rather than someone who is genuinely concerned about the way things are going. if you do go to someone’s presentation and you do engage that you do actually see a result from engaging. . You are raising issues that are real and you don’t hear anything back from anybody.Opportunities and expectations in relation to senior managers for dialogue schism between the senior management and the people on the ground that are actually doing things they can’t take on board what you are feeding up Staff conference C&P senior management team we came up with all these suggestions response was ‘you are all coming up with this. and you need to take it forward’ wasn’t any commitment from C&P senior management team to listen to the views.

. However.Case C checklist matrix Theme Ways receive information Data from coded material and relevant quotes Strategy team management team my director somebody visiting Jordan. the quantity of those messages are way too much that I can’t really absorb them and I have to kind of prioritise Every Sunday. Emails Teleconference Interwise Martin Davidson’s videos Staff meeting every two weeks one early morning one middle of the day one is light and one is long overload Bulletins minor sources we really don’t have the time. every beginning of the week. We barely finish the emails and the work that we have to do. they are minor sources. huge email and I really don’t have the time. maybe a VIP from headquarters country plan which is something which I receive every year staff awayday on a yearly basis office bulletin board regional bulletin board. questions I have been asked about five different times annoying as my job is fully loaded I cannot afford time I would receive this long.

huge email and I really don’t have the time. I have to kind of prioritise ignore some and read others whenever there is a change he would always communicate it clearly with us I would receive this long.. new strategies if any.. We receive a lot of information and requests that we have to return new performance management system colleague talking about a project updates from your department staff survey results Relevancy of information receive during the past ten months I found people were asking the same questions over and over again. However. Anything else would be general information. the most important for me are the ones that really affect my work: HR. I don’t have the time to read this. things about the Status Projects projects that I work on now. new procedures and policies.terms and conditions of services what is happening in the world of the British Council. .Information currently receive what is happening with HR with the projects and what we want to change. Finance.

I rarely read the office bulletin again for the same . I don’t have the time.segmentation I do like to receive messages. However. So I would like it if it was shorter and more targeted maybe send it to the communications manager in that country and let them decide who to send it to. the quantity of those messages are way too much that I can’t really absorb them and I have to kind of prioritise ignore some and read others for sure I don’t go to the NENA newsletter reason. The long emails talk about something that is going on in the organisation. However. it is too much information and you don’t necessarily have to talk to everybody.

I would recommend less of a bulletin board. more organised communications and requests for work Why don’t we use tools such as Interwise? I’ve tried it with HR and I think it would be nice to use it elsewhere. Simplified version of the strategy Consultative communication is something that I would like to keep even if it was video or telephone conference or Interwise I would like to have a summary of the things that are not in my domain rather than a lot of big chunks. Anything that is written because our eyes read a lot in one day and the last thing that you would want is to read again Again it is moving away from a reading method towards a method that we can be creative.Preference for receiving information Rather than this long email that this organisation tend to do. New systems. First of all for the body language and second I ask the question and go directly to the piece of information that I need. if we would meet at the beginning of the month and they could tell us this is the returns you are going to receive this month. When the person in front of me speaks he knows that I am getting the message so he moves on to something else rather than dwelling on it. We have to assess our travelling what they discussed could have been discussed on the phone. I would like to have it in smaller chunks face to face. whatever new systems that we have. Can it be done over a videoconference? .

when we started with our change program here with NENA we asked to be consulted about things. I would not know where is it happening what we are trying to do. in the local office I receive it much more. the communication group do is they manage the bulletin board. And that made a difference because we used to cut the job of the communication manager and distribute them in little pieces. We are consulted. with the regional I don’t see it as much on some occasions we would feedback and I would not receive anything in return. How much we influence the decision I would say not so much so far.Knowledge/ training trainings to raise our awareness about what is happening and understand the whole concept of change. I think having them in the one job is very highly appreciative. now we have a communication structure. all the publications. We are getting there gradually. flyers they manage for the region. from Director. We are running these teleconferences all the time I enjoy working with (Country Director) because I did have the chance to add some new initiatives and work through them in the past few years. Opportunities and expectations in relation to senior managers for dialogue Strategy Meeting. There is a face to face element and I sit down and talk often with my director or I put an idea on the table I can see whether there is feedback within that same moment or later on. I want to give you a neutral look managers are trying to do Interwise meetings and trying to tell us where we are now tell us this is what you . Now. sometimes we have these visits from the Executive Board and he discussed a little bit about what we did and our strategy. we are consulted.

Of course. I did not because I did not have the time Other feedback is that when we do receive a member of the Executive Board or head of the British Council we do have a chance to feedback usually . He told me then that whatever you are saying we don’t hear up there can you possibly write it down. The staff survey somebody who came from the Executive Board asked me then to write something in a magazine that the Executive Board would read.have done and this is what you have to do so there is some kind of feedback to me not perfect but there is some.

Internal professional network general management team once a month embedded in the project work SharePoint Video link Teleconferencing British Council intranet Sci-net (generated electronic newsletter) ENA intranet Martin Davidson’s blog bulletin email overload it is impossible to keep pace of changes in our own region and in our own way of working there is so much information isn’t there we all get too much. Formally as distinct from informally .Case D checklist matrix Theme Ways receive information Data from coded material and relevant quotes project team Once a month formally but we work very closely so we meet ad hoc meet with each project manager every two weeks. Information currently receive records of all the working group meetings and the documentation project contributions relevant data for people who have science in their portfolio extra background information what senior directors and regional directors have to say project board recommendations high level stuff . just to have a peer time when you can record what you have agreed overview stuff. this is why I was talking about critiquing things [ ] Try to get the key messages across because people have so much to try to keep up with so many different areas.

. yeah. Not only my work but I want to learn from other people. he circulates to the whole office so then everybody can read for instance the management briefs you get to hear different names from different people you don’t know who they are really but the you think oh. I mean it is worthy stuff but it is if it was any of my people I would have that connection I am really passionate about projects and that for me the whole reason why the British Council existed how we engage with people how we deliver our projects is absolutely essential. So for me that is the thing that fires me up and I want to be on top of that. segmentation it is the same old stuff.Relevancy of information receive Project work (Bulletin) some of the news I don’t find inspiring to be frank (Director) send things by email primarily. it becomes a little bit more tangible. these management briefs and things. he’s writing about that yeah and you get more of an idea of who that person is. So you start to link it. Oh yeah. He does a sort of a round up of messages that he gets from HQ. you know. he then churns it out. High level stuff that comes to him. that’s somebody from Corporate Strategy.

Preference for receiving information

the way (senior managers) is thinking in terms of the impact on my work. a good chair and the agenda is clearly communicated and it was well managed, the meeting, because individuals were asked to make contributions so you would have a prepared contribution to the meeting that people were responsible for I like Martin Davidson’s messages he writes what he thinks and he sounds quite real to me. I think it is important that people reflect which I think he tries to do reflect the world we are living in now the real world environment give people the main message and if they want to know more you give them the opportunity so that if they want to know more they can follow through themselves try to use the same terminology and acronyms get out of hand. I would like a bit more real meat about what people are actually doing that have key roles. Knowledge/ training Terminology

Opportunities and expectations in relation to senior managers for dialogue

SharePoint

we talk about regions so the and you can

overall project managers and we talk about incountry project managers now invite others that are not necessarily project managers the projects board did an audit of where things are they surveyed a lot of people and now they are making recommendations for how we can improve which is really good if acted on. There isn’t always sufficient consideration given to the people on the ground. To get their views and when high level decisions are made and, I am not particularly talking about projects I am talking about human resources to, as I say, to do the job you are asked to do. That seems very odd to me. It could just go dead if you were not persistent. What happens is that in the past you feel resentment because you feel you made an effort and then nothing has been forthcoming so now I try to keep the thing on the boil and be fairly assertive. To come back to things that are not yet resolved. Push if you like for a decision. I think if I had the time I could just write a message but I would want to prepare it like to do it in a structured way. (Director) send things by email primarily I don’t always feel as if he is sharing that vision and passion anyhow. People need acknowledgement Feel like “done to” Need more two way communication ENA programme support is a good example you feel very aware of who your audience is and I’d

Case E checklist matrix Theme Ways receive information Data from coded material and relevant quotes mainly electronically or online: emails, the office bulletin BC Life face to face team meetings team meeting minutes presentations by senior managers staff conference Grapevine overload The office bulletin and the intranet does give you the option to go in and find out more about the Council if you have the time I would not welcome lots more email info coming in as we get too much of it. Information currently receive Martin Davidson telling where he has been recently, giving us a link to his latest blog, big initiatives that are going on in the Council, invitations to presentations on certain activities or particular projects not within C&P more emphasis on what is the Council doing elsewhere and what we do how that fits into the strategic objectives of the Council Relevancy of information receive Sometimes we get information and I don’t think that it is relevant to me or because it is not specific to C&P me or my team. there have been more communication about the strategic benefit of what we do and how it feeds into the programme areas I will quickly read it and then

dismiss it because I don’t see it as relevant to

e. it sounds like too much management speak and switch off. not after the event some people shouldn’t get information at one time and then others at another Appropriate language is used it should all that is not going If you are across the board wherever possible. for example. something in there that is relevant to me or my team and what we are doing. it’s more of . I do tend to briefly read something and quickly dismiss it unless I think it is something that is particularly interesting or I would have contact with Preference for receiving information Opportunities to go to presentations and meet.segmentation Sometimes we get information and I don’t think that it is relevant to me or because it is not specific to C&P I will quickly read it and then dismiss it because I don’t see it as relevant to me or my team. People think this is sounding a bit too much like it’s not really for me. meetings. the Executive Board face to face gives you time and opportunity to ask questions and get some kind of dialogue going more interactive than electronic I am the kind of person that tries to print things off and read them the timing of it it has to be released or given out at a time that is appropriate i. to alienate members of the Council used to using language that is high level that is not familiar to people that will alienate that is too high level. Verbal. A clear message that has a purpose team meetings has to be a real purpose behind it and structure a reason. You get more of a response as well. face to face or on the telephone is a better way of communicating.

. Whereas email. In the UK because there is very little understanding or appreciation of what we do raising our profile is important and I think it would boost people’s morale here because we are being valued more Knowledge/ training SharePoint is something that is quite new to people know me and I’m seeing a little bit more about it I am open to new ways of doing things. (online communication) not my preferred way but I think it has its place in the Council because it enables people in other countries to have a discussion virtually. with the business continuity plan there is a clear order of contacting people in case of an emergency. I don’t think that. online it is all one way. That is a clear structure. you are reading it but you can’t actually feedback. There is no dialogue. or whether something really needs to be discussed with teams. necessarily. there is that clear a communication structure for managers and what kind of information is best . I just think it takes a bit of time to get into the swing of things.a two-way thing.maybe we need a clear indication of what kind of information is best conveyed face to face. the times I have gone overseas the British Council [ ] As an individual I feel that we are doing is worthwhile when people recognise what you are doing. by email.

I always feel she is true to her word and responds to feedback that I have given. But I think there are too many constraints on her time and this has had a knock on effect on people within C&P . she is very clear on what we should and shouldn’t be doing and often reinforces that message having the staff survey is a good opportunity for people to provide thoughts and views on the British Council cynical. My line manager will respond almost immediately or will say she will get back to me deal with something and let me know the outcome.Opportunities and expectations in relation to senior managers for dialogue Usually this is face to face or via email if she is not available which is a big problem. This is not a reflection on her at all as when she is available she will listen and give advice as appropriate. She has responsibility for a large number of people and she does not have the time physically to cater to lots of project managers and people in her team.her immediate line managees and people that report to her. with the Pay B6 external recruitment there wasn’t any advanced warning or that an advert had gone out on the website That is similar to something that is going on at the moment there is another Pay B6 external recruitment planned and we haven’t got any information on it. And rumours are flying around if still no improvement at the end of that that is when people become . Getting a meeting with her is not always possible.

A lot of information is passed around informally IT managers forum IT managers mailing list central circular email from Martin Davidson Bulletin BC World Strategy page on intranet overload I am totally swamped with email I would like more time to peruse and to read and to get a sense of what is going on but there isn’t more time Information currently receive I tend to get the information that relates to IT when a project is at a certain stage and they have decided to inform everybody about the project whenever a project is coming to fruition we get the information then .Case F checklist matrix Theme Ways receive information Data from coded material and relevant quotes Intranet Martin Davidson circular regional director’s letter WENA team in Manchester IT emails SMT has a meeting every Monday conversations with colleagues.

regional director’s letter and things like that I tend to read quite quickly. He tends to remember the council’s strategic objective every now and then and will voice them at meetings and things but I think they are probably second. I accept that.Relevancy of information receive Martin Davidson circular. I think it is relevant to the heads of the school I see my role as to make a good job of the particular place I am in the British Council what role it plays in terms of the importance of forming partnerships and influencing important members of Spanish society that is fine. Later on you doesn’t help me in my day to day look it up on the intranet. how does he express the organisation’s principals and strategies probably not that directly actually. sort of. BC World job particularly . that is where it fits in. would be if some English school forum sent me a set of things that they had been doing in a school in England and gave me. I am only interested in what the British Council can do for other people. In my experience he has to fight very. Then I tend to go looking for information I need things tend to arrive not necessarily at the point when I am interested in receiving that information inbox you get this long circular in your you don’t bother reading it. for example. . obviously (the Head) is trying to weave in the BC’s objective into what we do but basically he wants to run a good school. concrete things to use in my current job (overall direction of the British Council) I don’t think it is particularly relevant to me in my role now.What would be useful for me. What do we do now? We make it the best school we can. very hard with people above him to be allowed to go ahead.

sort of. what the benefits were. necessity for it or not I am only interested in what the British Council can do for other people It should be focussing more outside itself If senior managers came out explaining why they are doing things and to be open to questions bring back some of the passion because you would see that people were bothered about what they were doing and would be able to explain it face to face. why it is I would like to receive it at the beginning of the processes rather than at the end. I don’t particularly want that. concrete things to use in my current job I would like the BC to communicate with a purpose. People don’t all have the same opinions. If I was to write to Martin Davidson about some issues once in a while you could get a reply back about something As simple as possible things are not necessarily simple but keep it as clear as possible. to communicate in order to do things to tell me about what it’s doing in a general way no. Preference for receiving information What would be useful for me. too many places and too many offices but yes I would like to talk to someone face to face It would be nice to receive a personal reply from a senior manager. for example. would be if some English school forum sent me a set of things that they had been doing in a school in England and gave me. the . make it accessible. and being lumped together in those kind of communications don’t really say anything or do anything really. have a good filing system being done.segmentation I really don’t have very much time to browse things are not absolutely essential and so I don’t.

I think using web 2 technology is a very important way of communicating: chats, blogs, video conferencing anything that will bring senior executives closer to out there overseas and the UK as well. SMT home in via video conference to a particular site in the British Council and they listen to ideas they have and the people at that site get to see them and they get to see the people at the site to some degree Knowledge/ training Opportunities and expectations in relation to senior managers for dialogue the opportunity for me would be the SM meetings at the school itself. I don’t think I would feed up to anyone beyond the head of school if I had a particular view I would feed into our management meetings. there is probably more opportunity to do it but I don’t think I would use it like the staff survey am too busy to be honest. Nothing more than that. there is no one to say that to and it wouldn’t be worth saying anyway because the decision would have been taken so no that is why I think there is some sort of communication breakdown or maybe I just don’t know enough or I have the wrong end of the stick even the opportunity to talk about those kinds of things is not there. I

Appendix 7
Cross-case content analytic table

Content-Analytic summary table Category ways in which Case A Management Case B C&P newsletter British Council weekly bulletin BC Life monthly email from Martin Davidson line manager - once every couple of months Staff conference Presentations intranet for Strategy 2010 Case C Strategy (management) team every Sunday my director somebody visiting country plan staff awayday office bulletin regional bulletin Emails Teleconference Interwise Martin Davidson’s videos Staff meeting every two weeks Case D project team - once a month formally Internal professional network general management team once a month embedded in the project work SharePoint Video link Teleconferencing British Council intranet Sci-net (generated electronic newsletter) ENA intranet Martin Davidson’s blog bulletin email Emails office bulletin BC Life face to face team meetings presentations by senior managers staff conference Grapevine Case E Case F Intranet Martin Davidson circular regional director’s letter Manchester IT emails SMT - every Monday conversations with colleagues IT managers forum IT managers mailing list central circular email from Martin Davidson Bulletin BC World Strategy page on intranet

middle managers Coordination Team receive information once a week intranet office bulletin regional intranet SharePoint email

team meeting minutes WENA team

huge email and I really don’t have the time quantity of messages are way too much . for example. strategy on working. what we want to change.I can’t really absorb them and I have to kind of prioritise there is so much information isn’t there we all get too much. on the global products C&P business plan what is happening with HR (projects. terms and conditions of services) British Council new procedures and policies. new strategies information and requests that we have working group meetings and documentation project contributions extra science background information senior directors and regional directors high level stuff project board Martin Davidson telling where he has been recently link to his latest blog big initiatives that are going on in the Council invitations to presentations what is the Council doing elsewhere and information that relates to IT when a project is at a certain stage whenever a project is coming to fruition middle managers about anything newly . this is why I was office bulletin and the intranet does give you the option to find out more if you have the I am totally swamped with email I would like more time to peruse and to read and to get a sense of what is going on but there isn’t more time talking about critiquing time things I would not welcome lots more email info coming in as we get too much of it. information currently receive announcements introduced new jobs deadlines to be met developments on SAP Tawasul developments that are happening in the region (projects.information overload get too much information too much information is the same as too little -you don’t really have the time to access it Bulletins minor sources we really don’t have the time receive this long.

probably have found out already through unofficial channels whenever there is a change he would always communicate it clearly with us I would receive this long. Finance. Then I tend to go looking for information I need I don’t think it is particularly relevant to me in my role now. High level stuff that comes to him. You feel you are a bit away from all this CEO clarity talks about what he wants what he wants people to do difficult to think in terms of information on some of the current projects that we are working on feel like you are pulling information late . round up of messages that he gets from HQ. things about the Status Projects projects that I work on now. he then churns it out.success stories. these management briefs and things communication about the strategic benefit of feeds into the programme areas information and I don’t think that it is relevant to me or because it is not specific to C&P I will quickly read it and then dismiss it because I don’t see it as relevant to me or my team.I don’t have the time to read this. huge email and I really don’t have the time most important are the ones that really affect my work: HR. I think it is relevant to the heads of the school what we do and how it director’s letter and . Project work (Bulletin) some of the news I don’t find inspiring to be frank (Director) send things by email primarily. Martin Davidson circular. regional things like that I tend to read quite quickly. you know. Anything else general information . sometimes helpful documents to return recommendations what we do how that fits into the strategic objectives of the Council relevancy of information receive on the business support side how much any operational development would impact on your work.

Not only my work but I want to learn from other people. preference for receiving information if they want meaningful information they should give me more time. face to face communication is more effective because you feel more important and in this way more a forum for exchange people across our teams or for managing our portfolio across our teams unpack the top level of British Council Rather than this long I would like to have it in smaller chunks face to face for the body language go directly to the piece of information the I ask the question and reflect the world we are living in now the real world environment give people the main message and if they want to know more you give them the opportunity so that if they want to know more they can follow Opportunities to go to presentations and meet face to face gives you time and opportunity to ask questions and get some kind of dialogue going I am the kind of person that tries to print things off if some English school forum sent me a set of things that they had been doing and gave me concrete things to use in my current job BC to communicate with a purpose. for managing email outcomes and outputs that I need so we know what we person in front of me . a general message that is to everybody. if I am not interested I won’t access it. I do tend to briefly if it was any of my people I would have that connection I am really passionate about projects that fires me up and I want to be on top of that. read something and quickly dismiss it unless I think it is something that is particularly interesting or I would have contact with I really don’t have very much time to browse things are not absolutely essential and so I don’t. you will not necessarily treat it with the same importance visions for the future for the Council and how that percolates down to what I actually do in C&P all the project managers that are work on the new global or regional products from commissioning should all be linked up I would like it if it was shorter and more targeted maybe send it to the communications manager in that country and let them decide who to send it to it is the same old stuff. to communicate in order to do things why it of ideas.segmentation I want to know what is new on the HR side and things like that.

responsible SharePoints will be a good means of communicating If you want to do me a number of things then email is a record of what is required if we wanted to share knowledge about initiatives elsewhere maybe linking through the office bulletin are supposed to be doing intranet site for Strategy senior management update once every six months or so C&P management every quarter more time from senior management to line managing speaks he knows that I am getting the message so he moves on video or telephone conference or Interwise Simplified version of the strategy more organised communications and requests for work through themselves try to use the same terminology Terminology and acronyms get out of hand Appropriate language something in there that is relevant to me or my team and what we are doing (online communication) not my preferred way but I think it has its place in the Council because it enables people in other countries to have a discussion virtually when people (externally) recognise what you are doing I think it would boost people’s morale here because we are being valued more is being done. the necessity for it I am only interested in what the British Council can do for other people It should be focussing more outside itself If senior managers came out explaining why they are doing things open to questions bring back some of the passion because you would see were bothered about what they were doing and able to explain it face to face using web 2 . what the benefits were.

by email. clear indication of what kind of information is best conveyed face to face. flyers they manage for the region SharePoint takes a bit of time to get into the swing of things clear a communication structure for managers and what kind of information is best . all the publications.technology is a very important way of communicating SMT home in via video conference to a particular site knowledge/ training people need to be trained on how to use more modern tools of communicating and understand their value allow us to choose the best method for certain type of communication a communication structure we used to cut the job of the communication manager and distribute in little pieces. or whether something really needs to be discussed with teams . having them in the one job highly appreciated the communication group manage the bulletin board.

opportunities and expectations in relation to senior managers for dialogue during the performance reviews weekly meetings do not make a schism between the senior management and the people on the ground with NENA we asked to be consulted now. To get their views and when high level decisions are made and. we are. responsibility for a large number of people and Getting a meeting is not always possible having the staff survey is a good opportunity if still no improvement at the end of that that is when people become cynical if I had a particular view I would feed into our management meetings there is probably more opportunity to do it but I don’t think I would use it like the staff survey there is no one to say that to and it wouldn’t be worth saying anyway because the decision would have been taken so no even the opportunity to talk about those kinds of things is not there. There is a face to face element and I sit down and talk often with my director with the regional I don’t see it as much on some occasions we would feedback and I would not receive anything in return somebody who came There isn’t always sufficient consideration given to the people on the ground. I am not particularly talking about projects It could just go dead if you were not persistent. conscious effort to talk they can’t take on regionally I don’t board what you are feeding up if you try to really question the high up you are seen to be a problem rather than someone who is genuinely concerned You are raising issues that are real and you don’t hear anything back from anybody know whether there is an opportunity giving and receiving feedback has to become a value in the British Council. people fear that if you give feedback to your line manager they may give you a bad evaluation organisation or people in the local office I . We are running these teleconferences all the time receive it much more. How much we influence the decision I would say not so much so far. now I try to keep the thing on the boil and be fairly assertive. (Director) send things by email primarily I don’t always feel as if he is sharing that vision and passion anyhow.

from the Executive Board told me then that whatever you are saying we don’t hear up there .

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