Ideas, insights and inspirations.

As the band Led Zeppelin aptly put it—way back in 1969: “Communication breakdown. It’s always the same.” Truer words may have never been spoken; or wailed. Just search the phrase “communication breakdown in an organization” and you’ll get over a million results. Given the amount that has been written on this subject, it clearly effects many organizations and people. The photo on the left is meant to illustrate one cause of communication breakdown in (or between) organizations: lack of transparency. This can happen for a number of reasons, both innocent and otherwise. One example of a seemingly innocuous situation is where an employee of Company ABC communicates directly with an employee of Company XYZ. Together, they begin to make decisions which allow them to complete their individual tasks. Unfortunately, these independent decisions are unknown to their respective organizations, so the effects go unheeded until they surface at a later time. The ramifications of these decisions can come in the form of sullied relationships, … Continue reading

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If you have ever seen the tango being performed, you have witnessed the ebb and flow of tension and release, and the perfect balance of power and acquiescence. (By Anouchka Unel (Own work) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons) As with all so-called “lead and follow” dances, the lead must be willing to push and steer; the follow must yield in service of the dance. Client engagements are a lot like this type of dance. Typically, a client reaches out to an outside firm to help them to choreograph their efforts when they cannot seem to find the steps. Perhaps they are stepping on each other’s toes internally, or need a new partner to lead them through unfamiliar moves. Whatever the reason, it is important that when the music starts, the participants in the dance understand whether they are to lead or follow. Without such understanding, steps will be missed, cues will go unnoticed, and the rhythm will be lost. When a … Continue reading