I bought a house a few years ago. It was a kip and we had to rip it apart. As the guys were doing the initial tear out I asked them to get rid of a hideous old shiny wooden fireplace in the front room. When I went to look that evening, what was standing in the middle of the floor but a beautiful cast iron fireplace - the fireplace that had been there originally before someone decided to cover it over.
I was minded of that last week as I sat in traffic at a level crossing. There beside me was an old stone wall, lovingly restored from someone pebble dashing it a few years back - just not all of it unfortunately!
It got me thinking about how quick we are to chuck out the old, not because it doesn't work any more but because it's not fashionable, tastes change or because, well, it's just old.
We had our second IOIC Ireland get together last Thursday at which we spent 90 minutes exploring comms channels and their various challenges and benefits.
Our two speakers - from Irish Life and ESB Networks - talked about their inhouse magazine and Yammer implementation.
During the workshop part of the session an attendee played the earlier wall analogy back to me - the newsletter like the stone wall and Yammer like the cement over the top.
For a channel mix to work it needs to suit the needs of an organisation AND the needs if its people. In my experience, that's a mix of the traditional (leader briefings, town halls, leadership walkabouts, newsletters); and the new( whatever that happens to be in a given month - Worlplace, Yammer, Slack, Facebook@Work or a staff app).
Its OK to try new channels and they should absolutely be a part of the mix - just make sure you aren't throwing out the old just because it's old!