For all the clients I’ve ever had, and all the places I’ve ever worked, right up on top of every priority list is, ability to communicate. So how come it gets screwed up so much? I had a client that was so concerned with communications and the free flow of ideas that they reconfigured their offices so that there were no offices. Everyone had a cubicle with 3 and half-foot high walls. This was so everybody could see everyone else and talk easily with others…for the sake of open and easy communications. What happened was everybody avoided talking to each other about anything significant. People were constantly out in the parking lot on cell phones and everyone avoided looking at each other. Worst communications environment in modern business. I think the problem was that communications was so important to them that they over thought the problem.
I have another company I work with. Communications doesn’t seem to have the same focused priority as my other client. But every morning at 8:30 the president meets with all of his project managers…for coffee. They sit around a big table and talk about new business, who’s got a problem, who’s got a solution, current projects, who screwed up, hockey scores. Nothing gets left out. It’s the ultimate in business communications. You could say they’re doing what comes naturally. It works.
Instead of trying to figure out what systems should be designed, built, implemented, assessed and tracked, maybe it would be better if we just turned around and talked to each other.