October 14, 2015

Lost in the cracks


In any organisation larger than one person, there are cracks. Those little gaps where communications get lost: in delivery, implication, interpretation, impact. You say one thing, they hear another.

Scale up the organisation – cracks multiply, deepen, spread.

Let them grow, they’ll calve into little islands with full size silos.

There are always cracks. The job is to spot them early and close them fast.

Not with information. Not just information anyway. Don’t imagine that being open and honest is enough, don’t believe the weight of argument will do the job. It’s not a one way thing. Cracks have to be filled in tandem – both sides together.

This means you have to turn the cracks into transitions. Get specific on the who, what, when, where, how and when of pulling together. “When I say this, what does it mean to you? How do you interpret it? Who else do we need to bring to the table?”

Don’t shout across chasms. Step in, build bridges, pull together.

Skippy Strategy: Next time there’s a missed communication, grab your tools and get to work.