"High on the diagnostic checklist of corporate health is communication. The ease with which information flows downward, upward and horizontally is often a major internal indicant of organizational effectiveness; who listens to whom may reveal the real as opposed to the apparent authority structure in a firm; and, the proportion of people who consistently fail to get the message is frequently taken as a statistical baseline for predicting the efficiency with which plans will be translated into actions." – Jay Hall
Communication is the "glue" that holds the organization together.
Often our internal models of communication are based on external models which include techniques like "spin", "double speak", and "put only your best foot forward."
Is it any wonder that people in an organization may not trust what leaders say?
Effective organizations use a different model for communicating to internal stakeholders.
If you want to improve the performance of your organization,
one thing to consider is the model that drives communication.
We learned about Communication for Change from an extraordinary consultant named Lilot Moorman. Lilot worked with and mentored us in the 1980s and 90s. Lilot had a model for and extensive experience in how to design internal organizational strategies that both reflected the strategies and culture that leaders wanted to effect and helped drive performance and behavior in the direction of the mission, vision, and values.
Here are some of the questions that drive
the design of Communication for Change:
- What key "messages" are currently driving communication in your organization? (Discover current "messages" and craft future messages.)
- Are key "messages" linked to your business strategy and culture? (Learn how to "fit" critical information to your messages.)
- How credible is the information in your organization? How much do people currently trust what leaders say? (If there is a credibility issue, the process starts in a whole different place!)
- How extensive is the "rumor mill" in the organization? (Information voids are a myth: there are only accuracy voids! As you get more effective, rumors evaporate.)
- Who controls the current messages and information systems? How do they know what the people want and need to know? (Many information decisions are made by people who already have it all--what about all the people who need it? How do we connect them to the communication system?)
- What are the primary "convincer channels" and "convincer processes" of the people in your organization? (They provide powerful clues about how to deliver information.)
These questions and more are part of the way that your organization can begin to build a powerful, credible, and sustainable internal communication program that helps you achieve critical goals and helps you avoid creating more problems than you are solving with the communication you do.