Harnessing Visual Communications

Harvard Business Review Analytic Services | Pulse Survey

Harnessing Visual Communications to Build Trust and Connections

Sponsor Perspective

There’s no denying the pandemic unexpectedly turned our world upside down, like a great tsunami washing away and replacing aspects of our ‘normal.’ Diversified embarked upon this research journey with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services months before Covid-19 hit—seeking to gain insights on how businesses communicate, expecting that the digital transformation would continue to slowly build but wouldn’t be truly realized for some time. After enduring rapid change this past year, this research is even more critical for business leaders everywhere.

Through its many challenges, the pandemic accelerated the realization of our digital future. Never before have so many people—both personally and professionally—engaged in the use of visual communication technologies and no, we don’t just mean through Zoom or Teams. Yes, collaboration tools are important but so too are digital signage for wayfinding or disseminating mass notifications, webcasting to deliver a message, and operations centers to visualize and act on developing situations. Embracing these technologies broadens your reach and enables meaningful connections despite social distancing. Still, we understand doing so is easier said than done.

Before the pandemic, visual communications were primarily gaining momentum with progressive companies, master communicators, and celebrity CEOs. However, most considered these technologies a ‘nice to have,’ not mission critical. When Covid-19 irreverently upended our world, leaders were forced to pivot quickly not only to maintain business continuity but more importantly, communicate plans to adapt in ways that made associates feel safe.

Executives could no longer hop on a flight to stay in touch with local associates or clients. Managers were suddenly unable to huddle with their teams around a conference table. Co-workers could no longer meet at the water cooler to connect day-to-day. The world felt distant, and most everyone was forced to replace human experiences they once took for granted. Leaders had to evolve in order to thrive once the waves of the tsunami settled.

As providers and consumers of these technologies, we know visual communications help build trust and are an effective alternative to interhuman experiences. But, simply knowing it’s important to build trust and camaraderie is no longer enough. Modern leaders must now take the next step in deploying technologies to connect with clients, stay ahead of the competition as well as attract and retain top talent.

We encourage you to read on for invaluable insights on how you can take the next step and make a true difference in how the world views your business.

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HBR - Visual Communications