“We will not make an announcement until everyone has been informed.” (Unspoken policy of an underperforming organization)
When organizational changes are being made, companies often accomplish information sharing in two ways: the formal (announcements, town halls, and so forth) and the informal (the rapid acceleration of side conversations largely driven by curiosity or fear).
In the case of the informal, how do we model an enterprise mindset if informal knowledge sharing has everyone functioning from different realities? How do we partner together if we’re unsure what each other knows, particularly in cross-functional situations? (Hey, how do we stop all this swirl?!)
Consider there are three options in your next meeting:
- Ignore the fact that people might be not be focused and are functioning from different realities, then conduct a business-as-usual meeting and get little work done.
- Mention that you heard an announcement may be coming and ask, “What do we know?” Then be prepared for meandering and likely unproductive meeting.
- Acknowledge what’s been formally shared by the organization regarding any change. Then ask, “What information do we need to discuss that’s related to our work here – and which will enable us to be more productive?”
It’s not merely information sharing that creates stronger teams. It’s the information we need to form productive partnerships that we crave.
(We get that for which we ask.)