Building your IC team: competencies and skills

Should your IC team consist of generalists who are adequately skilled in a variety of areas, or specialists who focus specifically on one skill that they have mastered?

It’s an ongoing debate that Heads of IC across the globe have had to mull over at one point or another.

But it ultimately boils down to what your organisation needs. And that should directly inform how you build your IC team – and the skills and competencies you foster among them.

Yet finding the right balance of these crucial competencies within an internal communication department or team can be tricky.

If only there was a model to refer to…

Here Luke Dodd, @LukeatMelcrum, Digital Content Manager at Melcrum writes for my blog to share with us their competency model. I think it’s a good one and would love to know your thoughts.

As ever you’re welcome to comment below or you can Tweet me @AllthingsIC. Over to you Luke…

Melcrum’s competency model

In recent history, we’ve seen communicators redefine their roles to promote dialogue, manage organisational networks, and drive collaboration.

The image below captures this evolution, detailing three eras of Internal Communication as a function. It’s worth noting that none of the traditional responsibilities of the function have gone away – we are all doing more and more activities in support of business goals.

(I regularly use this eras of internal communication image with my clients – just a couple of weeks ago I used it when facilitating a day for O2′s internal comms team to demonstrate the journey of the profession – it’s well worth bookmarking and sharing with your team – Rachel).


To effectively manage this expanding mandate for Internal Communication, we as a profession have had to adopt a more systematic approach to competencies and skill development.

And Melcrum’s IC Competency Model provides a structure to do just that.

The model features four skill quadrants: Networks and Collaboration, Content Development and Delivery, Project and Function Management and Business Leadership. ‘Networks and Collaboration’ and ‘Project and Function Management’ quadrants can be defined as emergent areas of focus for the IC function.

The ‘Content Development and Delivery’ and ‘Business Leadership’ are the more traditional core responsibilities.

‘Business Leadership’ and ‘Networks and Collaboration’ contain distinctive skills that only certain members of your team need to possess.

Whereas ‘Content Development and Delivery’ and ‘Project and Function Management’ outline the shared competencies that all of your IC team should demonstrate to varying levels.

You can download the Competency Model here

Let us know what you think about the Competency Model by tweeting your thoughts to @Melcrum.

Post author: Luke Dodd.

Thanks very much Luke. So what do you think? Have you used something like this? Does this model work for you?

How have you structured your IC team and do you have any top tips to share?


Further reading on my blog

Glossary of internal communication
Listen to my latest free internal comms podcast
Comprehensive calendar of events, conferences and awards for IC pros
Looking for courses, people or info about IC? See my Rachel’s Resources page
Books I’ve contributed to on internal communication

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Founder of All Things IC communication consultancy. Chartered PR Practitioner and CIPR Fellow.

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