From communication to conversation

From single perspective implementation to multi-stakeholder integration.

From communication to conversation
Photo by Everton Vila / Unsplash

Lots of organisations struggle to communicate effectively.

Web 2.0 and the constant rise of new digital platforms really didn't magically solve the basic challenge of simply getting the right message to the right people.

One of the most difficult things for company leaders to get across effectively are changes in the organisation's strategic direction.

Fancy videos and expensive PowerPoint presentations only really go so far in their attempt to breakthrough into the hearts to the people that actually need to implement that strategy.

The one-way, top-down flow of information from know-it-all top management presenter to obedient and subservient middle management audience, especially in a corporate environment, carries numerous challenges that this traditional style of directive offering struggles to overcome in a modern workplace environment, where you are really trying to foster an fast, egalitarian culture of community and belonging.  

Perhaps one of the major benefits for companies in the last year of being forced to work remotely, is that leadership was forced into moving from their default of one-way communication towards more of a collaborative approach; where having proper conversations with people was necessary.

The uncertainty created by economic lockdowns meant that strategic rulebooks were tossed aside and new agile strategies needed to be quickly put together in intimate collaboration with everyone in an organisation.

Those rigid, top-secret, senior management breakaways that happened behind closed doors and all the the one-to-many directives that they produce, all of a sudden transformed into adaptable peer-to-peer problem solving conversations that produced immediate multi-stakeholder buy-in and fast action that was pretty much unheard of before this whole covid-19 mess started.

This realisation has perhaps sparked the emergence of a new mindset; a shift in focus from communication to conversation.

From directives to co-creation.

From single perspective implementation to multi-stakeholder integration.

We all now have first-hand knowledge of how unstable rigidity can be at a time where change is happening fast and loud. There is no going back to the blind comfort of an authoritarian approach.

Conversations, deep listening, respect for the opinions of peers and a willingness to build on the ideas of others as a collaborative, purpose-driven team is the new normal that everyone was searching for.