I find that staying abreast of trends in a dynamic field like organizational communication seems, at times, hopeless. The first challenge is that there are so many moving parts!

Consider, for instance, digital media. It seems like every week a new digital medium emerges, taking the communication world by storm. I’m still coming to grips with Facebook and Twitter as organizational communication tools!

Add to this a plethora of information sources: online newsletters, blogs, consulting reports, white papers, vendors pushing their best and brightest ideas. In this kind of environment, how do you separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff?

Where to begin? I’ve found that registering for a few information sources that I can rely upon for substantive and timely content is the key.

At the top of my list is the online McKinsey Quarterly, published by McKinsey & Company, the global management consulting firm serving businesses, NGOs, and nonprofits.


The Quarterly combines insights from McKinsey with ideas from other world-leading experts and practitioners. Content is organized in broad categories such as industries, business functions, and global themes.

The target audience is also broad, including executives at major corporations, professionals representing a wide range of functional responsibilities — and, yes, graduate students! McKinsey’s research on the consumer decision journey, for instance, has fundamentally changed the way I — and many of my students — look at marketing communication.

As communicators, we face the challenge of keeping up not only with trends in the communication field, but also with what’s happening in the business and nonprofit world. Business models, for example, are changing rapidly with the advent of digital technologies, and that has implications for the way we communicate with both internal and external stakeholders.

All the Quarterly’s articles and multimedia content are available free of charge at the site and you can sign-up for email alerts.

What’s at the top of your organizational communication reading list!

Posted by Carl Zangerl, Ph.D., Faculty