Successful organisations are melting pots of disparate skillsets. Whether in terms of practical skills or intrinsic psychological capabilities, it takes a variety of minds to fuel organisational success.
This dynamic has one fundamental challenge:
Communication flows through a healthy organisation, enabling the change process to be visualised. Implicitly linked to prosperity, growth, and dynamic change, communication is a powerful tool.
However, what does this really mean? How important is communication, and what is its link to adaptability?
Change Management And Communication: The Link
Experience shows that good communication is the driving force that underpins successful change management.
This includes the flow of information between the change manager and the organisation, and the communication climate within the company as a whole.
Skilful change agents are able to visualise the climate of an organisation. When organisations become fully adaptable, everyone is able to access the information that they need in order to grow and develop.
This visualisation is enabled by communication. As the organisational climate becomes more conducive to change, communication improves, and adaptability is enhanced. During times of change, good flows of communication are vital. As crucial as any skillset – and arguably more important than many – communication fuels organisational development.
Communication: The Challenges
Communication can be hampered by many barriers. These include psychometric clashes, where people and teams do not understand or appreciate each other’s objectives, and therefore cannot relate to a common vision.
The barriers also include practical issues, such as the unfolding vision not being communicated efficiently or effectively, leading to inefficiencies.
Whether it is misunderstandings in emails, or an abrasive corporate culture, miscommunications are everywhere. Each of these problems stem from the fact that many people do not recognise that good communication is an acquired skill.
Yet academic studies repeatedly prove that communication is not only at the heart of agile change, it is something that many companies naturally resist. For instance, a study has found that the inherent communication inside organisations tends to resist change, but that this can be reversed with open dialogue.
Communication: The Benefits
A learning organisation is one that is empowered to harness its capabilities to enable a forward momentum.
This starts with a healthy climate, where information is shared meaningfully.
Continuous learning means that every level of an organisation learns from the wealth of knowledge that is infused in its workforce. This increases agility and empowers an organisation towards meaningful change.
Measuring The Work
For a change maker to become a powerful influencer, knowledge is vital. As value flows through end-to-end processes, the change architect is empowered by a 360o awareness of organisational health.
Interpreting value is more complex than reading sheets of figures. During times of change, navigating the road ahead often demands enhanced visualisation. This is a twofold situation. Armed with a practical change methodology, the architect also gains vital environmental awareness from constant feedback from the organisation.
Whether it is mutterings of disquiet, or a well-informed idea, open communication enables knowledge to flow.
Driving Towards Perfection
Consumers and clients are the barometers of change. As core stakeholders, those who engage with a company provide the best source of feedback about the need for change, and the success of the change process.
Listening to feedback is vital. However, being able to fully understand the meaning of that feedback is a deeper level of communication. Knowing the right questions to ask, and being able to interpret the responses, is a communication skill in itself.
Improving Adaptive Communication
Communication is also a detailed and precise art, with many levels of access. Great leaders of change are able to harness communication and translate the information into actionable detail. You can find out more about how to do this in our free downloadable Introduction to Adaptive Organisations.