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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Advantage: Post#10--Overcommunicate Clarity

Discipline #3—Overcommunicate Clarity: Anything worth saying is worth saying 7 times—that’s how many times employees have to hear something from a leader to start believing that the leader really means it. Unfortunately, for a host of reasons (time, not wanting to be redundant, etc.), many leaders don’t repeat themselves. The result is a garbled message, inconsistent execution and often frustration. Lencioni asks leaders to become Chief Reminding Officers, responsible for reminding people of important issues like the vision and values of the company. One way to ensure communication is to engage in “cascading communications” a pouring down the organization of key information from all supervisors to all employees. Lencioni suggests three tactics: Message consistency, timeliness of passing on the word, and real-time communication. And while the author argues for upward and lateral communication channels, he notes that in very healthy organizations, when there is cohesiveness at the top, communication gets even better. The final test of cascading communications is whether employees can articulate the six clarifying questions (like, why do we exist? And, how do we behave?)

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