There is a scenario game sometimes played in training situations. Each person in the team has one piece of information critical to solve the puzzle, and they are instructed to resist sharing that information.
Stupid – right? This would only happen in an artificial training scenario and not in a real world situation?
I reckon this happens in organisations much more than we would choose to believe! I could tell you client stories backing up my view, but I think I don’t need to do that… You will have your own stories.
Despite good intentions, communication is made more challenging by the our current business ecosystem:
- Complexity: The environment in which we operate is increasingly complex and fast paced, and to match this, organisations are increasingly complex. ’Complicatedness’ is estimated to have increased by an average of 6.7% a year over the past 50 years#.
- Uncertainty: As well as increasing complexity, we need to deal with uncertainty. Making decisions without all the information you might like is a challenge of leadership.
- Timing: Situations evolve quickly and there is a need for rapid response.
In an increasingly complex and interconnected workplace, good communication across the leadership team, in fact across the whole organisation, is critical.
For a team to make sense of all information available, to understand the indicators and to draw on the talents of the whole team, open, intelligent and fearless conversations are the price of entry.
Effective communication is the key that unlocks the data cave, ensuring that all the critical information available can be accessed and utilised by the team.
Perhaps it’s time to reflect on:
- How well is your team communicating?
- How does your own communication style help or hinder team dynamics?
- What latent potential could be released with more effective communication dynamics?
Love to hear your thoughts on communication in leadership teams here.