Storytelling and rotation: expanding the range of communication
The speed and agility of the intense changes installed in all orders of life profoundly affect the quality and effectiveness of communications.
In the field of organizations, the tensions in the moments of communicating in groups, agile teams, interviews or in larger auditoriums, plus the addition of virtuality, generate emotions that are limited in expressive behavior. The urgencies and difficulties of the communicator are combined with audiences whose attention is also crossed by the influence of their own interests and emotions.
To overcome these obstacles in times of intense change, fluid two-way communication between the strategic and operational levels is essential. Agile methods generate a dynamic that frequently focuses on the operational aspects of the framework and does not systematically account for the projects and global progress of the organization.
This distance is the cause of the turnover and volatility in the structure, a circumstance that is usually attributed to the characteristics of the new generations.
In my opinion, and without ignoring the difficulties rooted in the generational gap, we see another great component: the distance between what the organization communicates and what it thinks it communicates.
An example observed in multiple real situations:
A team Team Leader (TL) in a fintech company gains visibility in the market, receives a proposal and leaves the organization. The team rearranges itself and follows his management but resents the type of leadership that this TL exercised based on his high level of knowledge and problem-solving capacity.
The organization adjusts the structure with an internal promotion without clearly perceiving that this rotation reports a listening deficit that has an internal impact. Was the TL’s choice to change due to an income issue? Did the TL perceive that the challenge he opted for is of higher perceived quality? What history and what conversations prevailed in his decision? What are his comments?
These questions remained unanswered organizationally. Effective management is likely to offset the impact of change over time but immediately produces a cost that affects management.
In line with the contextual complexities that we expressed at the beginning: What organizational values were at stake in this case? What does the operational level perceive as “value proposition in action”? How much does the human capital know about the long-term proposal translated into present value terms? How does the situation impact on «listening» to external job offers?
In the graph that follows we expose the problem that exists in the quality of communications between the different levels. The dissonances occur with the strategic level that perceives quality communication as resolved with brief meetings, brief presentations, limited interactive participation and taking for granted the benefit of being part of the organization.
Stories flow throughout the space of organizations, those that are told, those that are not told and those that are built by interpreting silences.
The specific facts of the management are weighted randomly if communication protocols don´t include validation processes of meanings in the different actions.
Energizing a process of innovation and lifelong learning requires a commitment to a collaborative and co-creative culture that encompasses all human capital as the protagonist, methodically resorting to the wide variety of channels and means of communication available.