Written July 4, 2014

Thoughts on Organizational Communication

Thoughts on organizational communication …

  1. Information and data flow within an organization, is as complex as the people that comprise it. Though the quality of a company’s internal communications will be skewed toward the weaker side of it’s mean, the able to communicate is ultimately a skill that can be both practiced and improved.
  2. The core of effective communication within an organization is keyed off three attributes: Quality, Richness and Authenticity. Engagement on these points can be nurtured throughout the company and developed in situations as diverse a the team stand standups to interdepartmental memos.
  3. With quality, we are looking for not only great copy but also thoughtfulness, clarity and consistency of messaging.
  4. With richness we are looking to strike a balance between the presentation of abstract concepts and deeply technical details without underestimating the organizations emotional or intellectual capacity.
  5. The importance of authenticity cannot be understated. If you don’t believe your messaging, your coworkers certainly will not either.
  6. Another important principal regarding organizational communication is that summarization creates a level of abstraction over the details that is raised with every step up in the org chart. While this principal is perhaps not unsurprising to anyone who has participated within several tiers of business, what should be of interest is how that knowledge can be disseminated or radiated back own throughout the organizational hierarchy.
  7. To understand why the radiating of information back down through the org chart is so critical … ask yourself where the vast majority of business decisions within a company are made? If you think it’s the C-Suite … you are sorely mistaken.
  8. Every day, at businesses across the globe, seemingly inconsequential decisions are made that incrementally move the business in “some” direction.
    If an authentic, rich and high quality message with direction and intent has been delivered from the the top of the org chart all the way down to the “worker-bees”, then each one of the inconsequential decisions will do its small part to move the businesses towards its goals.
  9. There is not such thing as “trickle down” information. The communication down through the organizational chart needs to be purposeful.
  10. Take inspiration from the brightest: How Jack Dorsey Makes Meetings at Square More Transparent
  11. Leaders communicate with their organizations at the same level they expect it to operate at …
  12. If the organization is not moving in the direction you wish, take time to reflect on how you are communicating your goals with the team. Are you developing a sense of urgency in the change and new direction? Are you helping inspire ownership in the effort? Are you being authentic with your messaging?

*P.S. This is the start of a larger article; but, for now, I am just getting my points out there for comment.