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Women In Comms

NTT CMO: Rebranding a telco requires cultural sensitivity

WiC: How did interdepartmental communication change as part of this rebranding process? In the telecom industry, we talk a lot about how IT and networking teams, for example, need to communicate better. Were there any changes there and how do you go about making some of those changes?

RR: There is probably an unfair assumption that some of our more technical colleagues, who are world class at what they do around networking protocols or some of our coding colleagues, aren't necessarily those who are more extroverted or more aligned in terms of human communication – fairly or unfairly. We have got a very broad range of skills, personality types and also cultures and natural language. The majority of our people don't necessarily have English as their first language. There's that need to communicate and personalize the communications when you're going through this degree of change.

It's important to be very clear on what this means for each of our employees, communicating very carefully through our leaders and then down through our managers, to make sure that people understood what this meant for them. That was critical, so whether it was the people that work in our security operations centers, people in our technical product management teams or our data center division, it was really important that this change was clearly articulated and also localized for them.

For different parts of the new business there's been a different degree of change; everybody's brand has changed. For some people, you are actually changing their role. We've had to make sure that we're making this as personal as possible for the individual while balancing that with the strategic direction of the company.

You get so caught up in articulating change, sometimes it's easy to forget to remember the why of the change. What matters is, now that we're all operating under the single brand, that whichever part of the business our customers touch, that they get a consistent experience. When you come back to that driver of the why it's much easier for us to make the right decisions, rather than getting bogged down into individual decisions.

That's what we always come back to when addressing some of our more technical teams and the key foundational layers within our technology stack – our networking team, our cloud teams, our data center teams – what they enable us to do and what they enable our clients to do through providing that core telco service is extraordinary, but sometimes you have to help them reconnect to the outcome, rather than the process of getting to the outcome.

— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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