In today’s broken world of work, we have never had the access to so many tools, to so many free resources to help us progress, or access to the best talent available, yet we are no closer to answering one of the fundamental issues in the business world.
In a recent and brilliant article, Eugene Wei really hit the nail on the head:
“One of the most common weaknesses among managers and leaders is the illusion of transparency, though it is a problem for most people. It is the tendency to overestimate how much people know what you’re thinking.”
— Eugene Wei.
Thinking and communicating are two of the most important parts of being a leader and holding a leadership role, unfortunately thinking => discussing issues => communicating what, why and allowing others to build the how causes more problems often than competitors do.
Hard To Be A Manager – Harder To Be A Leader
Management has never been so hard, leadership is even harder, you have many challenges, you have faced 2020 and 2021 you were never prepared for or trained for and rather than communicating becoming easier it has become harder, we have too many communication channels and so little time to articulate clearly.
What makes a great leader is an essential read for the move to the office 3.0 – the arena and the move to full-time Hybrid Office. Being a leader now means being deliberate, clear and communicating in an inspiring way.
One of the reasons why managers fall short is thinking they have communicated to those around them and to their department or teams.
The likelihood is, you didn’t and if it is important you should bring it up regularly.
As a leader you are busy, you have many of the same conversations with those around you (management teams, leadership teams, board meetings etc) you fail to relay the message to your own team.
Your department then feels disconnected from you and core business decisions feel like you have bypassed your team.
I would estimate 80% of the time, poor or lack of communication costs Department heads their people and then their role.
Solution: The Decision Document
One solution Focus has created is to build an open decision document – this doesn’t have to be a document in format, this can be a notion page, a dedicated page on the internal wiki or it could even be a Trello board (I recommend against a kanban style board as people read them differently and is done actually done and completed?)
The decision calls out what the important decision was, what steps were taken and the date. The how has to be completed by the responsible team however it is essential any important business-wide decision is listed and these steps are followed.
Communication is still key to winning, explaining in the same format to the impacted teams is as important, but showing the chain of decisions and the process will help the company understand how you got there and the timeline connected.
As a leader, it is important to know when to take action and now is the time, if you are in the position, create the document and introduce it to the business, if not co-create with someone who is operationally strong.
Template Available Upon Request
When Knowing The Importance & Managing The Messaging
Bob Iger (the Disney Chairman wrote in his book Ride of a Lifetime) took to leading by press release as everyone internally realised the importance of the decision and they had to make it work, at a company of the size it is likely important however none of the decisions should be a surprise or surprising. The decision document will help you with this issue.
Reconnect Around A Canonical
If you feel disconnected as a leadership team, the decision document can act as the canonical place you reconnect and build as the rock of your company.
Opportunity For One Internally Champion
This is where the culture community manager can own and work with leaders to improve internal communications and centralise information flow into the centre of the truth within an organisation, a knowledge centre.
Introduce The Decision Document This Week
Be proactive and roll out the decision document in the upcoming week and introduce it to the business, you will be surprised by the impact.