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Is Your “Information Flow” Really a Drip?

August 3, 2009 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments

Right now, this very moment, how many of your employees know exactly what the immediate and most critical objectives are for your business? How many know what needs to be accomplished this month, this week – today? How many clearly understand your expectations for their individual performance? Would you describe your company’s “sense of urgency” as fast or slow? The common denominator for each of these questions is “information flow.” With it, there is focus, urgency, efficiency and productivity. Without it, there is frustration, fragmentation and missed opportunities.
Achieving higher levels of organizational performance always requires a change in the collective behaviors of teams. It doesn’t matter if a company is in a crisis situation or striving to reach that next level of success, it’s ability to disseminate key information will determine how quickly behaviors will change. However, too many leaders routinely and grossly underestimate the level of information flow that is required for measureable results to occur. And when information drips rather than flows, the crisis continues. And, the quest to reach the next level morphs into pipedream.
Here are some no-compromise strategies to ensure that information is flowing rather than dripping throughout your company:
* Information flow x 10: What would happen if you took your current level of information flow and multiplied it by 10? The answer is simple; there would be an immediate and measurable gain in the overall performance of your company. Ratcheting up the level of information flow is like putting your company on a GPS heading toward success.
* Find the information flow bottlenecks: Every company has them – and you may be one of them. Yes, leaders are notorious for having high expectations and not backing them up with the necessary information to clarify their expectations. Are one or more of the team leaders a bottleneck? Are there key players on your team with conflicting agendas? The only way you’ll discover the bottlenecks is to spend quality time with your leadership team and employees. If they cannot articulate where the company is going and what its immediate objectives are, there is an information flow bottleneck.
* What, why & how is the score: Everyone needs to know. Everyone needs to play. From daily huddles around the company scoreboard to daily leadership team briefings, the only excuse for not driving information flow is laziness and procrastination. We’re in the information age and we have some amazing technologies to drive it. From conference calls, web-based video meetings and online file sharing, to text messages, emails and alerts in most business software, there is no excuse for anything less than rapid-fire information flow.
* Get into the grove and make it stick: Ratcheting up your information flow systems will require you as the leader to adapt and commit to new disciplines first. Don’t expect everyone else to commit to an information flow system that you routinely compromise. The only way to ensure accountability down through the employee ranks is for accountability to be locked in at the top.
Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends.
Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder & CEO

Right now, this very moment, how many of your employees know exactly what the immediate and most critical objectives are for your business?

How many know what needs to be accomplished this month, this week – today?

How many clearly understand your expectations for their individual performance?

Would you describe your company’s “sense of urgency” as fast or slow?

The common denominator for each of these questions is “information flow.” With it, there is focus, urgency, efficiency and productivity. Without it, there is frustration, fragmentation and missed opportunities.

Achieving higher levels of organizational performance always requires a change in the collective behaviors of teams. It doesn’t matter if a company is in a crisis situation or striving to reach that next level of success, it’s ability to disseminate key information will determine how quickly behaviors will change. However, too many leaders routinely and grossly underestimate the level of information flow that is required for measureable results to occur. And when information drips rather than flows, the crisis continues. And, the quest to reach the next level morphs into pipedream.

Here are some no-compromise strategies to ensure that information is flowing rather than dripping throughout your company:

  • Information flow x 10: What would happen if you took your current level of information flow and multiplied it by 10? The answer is simple; there would be an immediate and measurable gain in the overall performance of your company. Ratcheting up the level of information flow is like putting your company on a GPS heading toward success.
  • Find the information flow bottlenecks: Every company has them – and you may be one of them. Yes, leaders are notorious for having high expectations and not backing them up with the necessary information to clarify their expectations. Are one or more of the team leaders a bottleneck? Are there key players on your team with conflicting agendas? The only way you’ll discover the bottlenecks is to spend quality time with your leadership team and employees. If they cannot articulate where the company is going and what its immediate objectives are, there is an information flow bottleneck.
  • What, why & how is the score: Everyone needs to know. Everyone needs to play. From daily huddles around the company scoreboard to daily leadership team briefings, the only excuse for not driving information flow is laziness and procrastination. We’re in the information age and we have some amazing technologies to drive it. From conference calls, web-based video meetings and online file sharing, to text messages, emails and alerts in most business software, there is no excuse for anything less than rapid-fire information flow.
  • Get into the grove and make it stick: Ratcheting up your information flow systems will require you as the leader to adapt and commit to new disciplines first. Don’t expect everyone else to commit to an information flow system that you routinely compromise. The only way to ensure accountability down through the employee ranks is for accountability to be locked in at the top.

Categories: Information Flow

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