Weak management will firmly install a highly ineffective organizational culture. The culture will contribute little to, and rather significantly hinder, any progressive change. To significantly improve your chances of success, you must break through the barriers and enlist your employees in the cause.
A relatively simple fix is to deliver honest, meaningful and straightforward messages directly to all principal constituencies. Thoroughly communicating directly with all elements of the organization ensures that your message isn’t garbled.
This combination of communication and interaction creates many benefits. By opening up communication both to employees and from them, one of the most important results is that you reap the wisdom of the group. James Surowiecki’s highly acclaimed The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many are Smarter than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations provides research-based confirmation:
“under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them. Groups do not need to be dominated by exceptionally intelligent people in order to be smart. Even if most of the people within a group are not especially well-informed or rational, it can still reach a collectively wise decision”
When all individuals have some information about the state of the company, its priorities, its problems and its general direction, good ideas and effective implementation come out of the woodwork. You empower the entire organization and:
• Capture the good ideas and business intelligence inherent within the organization.
• Create an overall environment that will be more receptive to change.
• Enable middle-management to make more confident decisions.
So why be smart and stupid simultaneously. Recognize that you don’t have all the great ideas. Open up the lines of communication. Interact with your employees. Learn about and utilize the subtleties of your own corporate culture. Then select the cream of the wisdom you’ve gathered to steer the company down the best, perhaps even surprising, path. Next week emphasis on extremely direct communication; fully laying out the good news and the bad news!