After my 10 working years (roughly a half of it turned around corporations), I find it quite amazing that conflicts, delays and failures seem to be a direct result or side-effect of either:
- communication problems
- ownership problems
This realization seems so stunning to me, that I began wondering… Why don’t we teach communication on a daily basis? Why don’t we train employees on how to communicate efficiently – e-mails, meetings (yes, meetings especially – those who work in corporations know why), F2F discussions. To be concise, straight to the point, to have goals agreed, action lists, parking lots, follow-ups aligned up-front, recommendations prepared, to manage brainstorming sessions efficiently, facilitate, moderate etc. Communication is no simple matter. With all of the information around us, it adds up to the most critical skill.
It seems that moving to the next step of the corporate ladder usually has a lot to do with communication.
And then comes ownership… One of the most common questions I ask nowadays is: “Who is the owner?” I find it strange, that in the corporate world finding an answer to this question takes a lot of time. Oft-times, there is no answer at all. The safe assumption is – if the owner isn’t known, most likely there is none.
If you have a communication, an idea, a problem/task, a project, a program, a process, a product, a team, a… company – who is the “owner”? Does he/she know about that? Do others know it? Is this information readily available?
(BTW, I wonder if it would change anything, if we replaced the standard “from” tag or by-line with “owner”?)
(PS For a better illustration to this issue, visit Seth Godin’s blog – http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2006/11/classic.html).