Many countries restrict open communication among citizens by limiting access to the internet. This is because their leaders understand the importance of communication and know that their grip on power depends on controlling it. According to this USA Today article, the 5 most restrictive countries are North Korea, Burma, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
If a dictator’s regime depends on controlling information, what does it mean for a typical company manager? Although a capitalistic company is vastly different from a communist regime, I think the dynamic is the same – those who communicate effectively thrive and those who don’t lose power quickly.
We’ve built a 100+ year old company based on the value of workplace communications, so I know that the type and style of communication is critical to a company’s success. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t have an articulated communications strategy. Instead, they use a piecemeal approach of communicating some things, some times, but lack a unified approach. However, if they really stopped and thought about the powerful tool they’re underutilizing, I think most would take the time to figure this out.
I know most managers are so busy that it’s difficult to find enough time to do this. It’s not like something bad will immediately happen if they don’t do it, so their attention goes to the current squeaky wheel.
But when you consider the amount of time, effort and expense many countries expend in order to have a very defined and successful (by their standards) communications strategy, you know there’s tremendous leverage and opportunity there. If your company doesn’t have a communications strategy I suggest considering the above. You are missing out on one of the most powerful and least expensive tools at your disposal – to have better, smoother operations and increased profitability.