Develop effective internal communications – 10 Lessons to Build an Efficient Organization #7

Introduction to the 10 Lessons to Build an Efficient Organization series

My series of Sun Tzu (who one of the most influential Chinese philosophers) is focused on the topic of how to develop an efficient organization. You might think that these are trivial things and they should be. However, I see that even these trivial things are not working in many organizations. I had to conclude that the fundamental rules of leadership are non-trivial as ego, pride, emotions and thought patterns come in the way.

Sun Tzu: The book of Army Management says: As the voice cannot be heard in battle, gongs and drums are used. As troops cannot see each other clearly in the battle, flags and banners are used.

Hence, in night fighting, usually use drums and gongs, in day fighting, banners, and flags. Now, these instruments are used to unify the action of the troops. When the troops can be thus united, the brave cannot advance alone, nor can the cowardly retreat. This is the art of directing large masses of troops.

Example

Imagine a big project which would take a year to develop. Two teams are working on the project. 

Team “A” alone and team “B” with the help of an external partner company “External”. 

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After a couple of months, there is a meeting to share the progress. It turns out that the progress of both teams was overlapping. Team “A” expected that the team “B” will deliver a different result. After this, a manager in team “A” blames the company “External”. Despite the fact that managers in team “B” and company “External” were closely collaborated in every meeting.

Result

Team “A” and “B” which should be closely collaborating to achieve the same goal were not communicating efficiently. Months of work was wasted in the situation. The image of the leadership is weakened.

The image of the company is degraded. “External” company will think that the organization doesn’t know what it wants to achieve. Or simply can’t communicate it properly.

Key points to achieve efficient communication and delivery

  • Clearly defined projects: goal, responsible, accountable person, deadline
  • Clear communication channels
  • Regular feedback and tracking of the progress (i.e. milestones)
  • Hold leaders and team members accountable for their work
Develop efficient communication

Develop efficient communication, regardless of the used channel. Clear, direct communication works the best possible way.

The vision needs to be shared at every level.

Optimizing your meetings

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All participants in a meeting should know

  • The goal of the meeting
  • Their responsibility (why are they invited)
  • The expectations after the meeting

It’s a great way to send out meeting minutes after a meeting. This ensures common understanding of expectations and tasks.

The meeting minutes should contain

  •  goal and result of the meeting
  •  tasks
  • deadlines
  • responsible person

Use internal tools to document and track requirements for both the internal and the external team.

Hold leaders accountable for their deliverables and track progress. Accepting responsibility and not blaming others is crucial. Blaming creates a toxic environment, which leads to alienation, lack of motivation. Holding leaders accountable, taking responsibility leads to a healthy organization and builds efficient teams.

What lessons did you learn in your organization?

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Written by András Kapros
Business coach, well-being coach, aspiring master life coach | András is helping IT and creative professionals to transform their business idea into reality. After 15+ years of experience as a freelancer, and managing IT teams (Front-End, User Experience) in multi-cultural environments in Switzerland and Hungary he took the next step. He transformed his life as well as his career. In 2019 he started working as a business and well-being coach. His Master Life Coach Certification is in progress and will finish within this year. He started his youtube channel in 2020 producing one video per week on topics: entrepreneur mindset, getting unstuck, being efficient, increasing focus. He spent more than 3500 hours on studying personal development and productivity. He wrote and published his first self-help book from scratch in three months. He loves mountain biking, snowboarding, and he is vegan.