Something that's been top of mind for us at Laurel & Wolf is communication. For a group of people who all sit next to each other you would think it would be easy for us to all be on the same page. We slack, email, meet, sideline, touch base, and yet still some things fall between the cracks. We imagine a day when all teams can work together seamlessly. However, I've also learned from spending time with CEOs of much larger companies that it's very rare to find better communication in a bigger company. The bigger you get, the harder it is to make sure everyone is in sync. So how do you make sure everyone knows what's going on? How do you communicate the priorities? How do you work cross functionally with no bottlenecks? Here are a few ways we're thinking about solving this challenge:
Choosing the Correct Form of Communication is Key
Should it be an email or a meeting? Often the two are confused. People end up spending time in meetings that they don't need to or sending emails back and forth when a simple conversation could clear everything up. Think about what you need to communicate, how much discussion needs to happen and then decide the best approach. Especially as it pertains to decision making, be sure you choose the forum that is best for providing all the documents and players needed.
Be Clear About the Goal of the Conversation
Are you there to make a decision? Is it for a brainstorm? Are you looking for feedback on something? Are you looking for a deliverable? Answering these questions can help you decide how to best structure a conversation and how to get the result you are looking to achieve.
It's All About Follow-up
Something I know many teams are guilty of doing is not having clear action items or assigning "owners" after a meeting. You may have a great brainstorm, or feedback session, or make a decision but "memorializing" things is what ensures you are moving forward. Great ideas don't result in execution; the work must be done. And if a project requires multiple teams' involvement then you need someone to own it and track each piece down to launch it.
In the end, I've found tackling these three communication skills now only leads to better efficiencies amongst your team and your business as a whole.