Improving Internal Communications LO18770

Simon Buckingham (
Fri, 31 Jul 1998 15:12:51 +0100

Replying to LO18765 --

Richard C. Holloway wrote in LO18765:

>I generally find that the causes of internal communications problems are
>that there are little or no meaningful commnications occurring within the
>workplace. By this, I don't refer to the number of meetings that take
>place--or efforts to improve communications. I just mean that, despite
>the increasing attempts to improve communications, people still don't
>listen to each other--and don't say the things that need to be said.

Doc, I share this point of view that much communication is ineffective- my
view holds that communication is the very structure of the company- and
therefore is essential to success. Communication can be formal or
informal, systematic or fragmented. Firstly, the people doing the
communicating need to be open and honest- with themselves and the people
they are communicating with as all communication is generated by people.

The quality of the communication depends upon the content of the
communication and the context in which the communication is taking place.
Communication needs to be formalized- there needs to be a systematic,
regular and comprehensive exchange of tailored and relevant data. This
formal communication is supplemented by the informal "conversations"
between people in evevators, at water-fountains and so on. So the content
has to be right. And the context too- the problem with organizations is
that their static systems, procedures and policies hinder effective
communication- which become driven by politics- rank, position,
departmental etc. This prevents the open and honest exchanges of
information that are so essential to the success of companie sin the 21st

In sum, I advocate systematic information exchange- via email,
face-to-face meetings and so on, supplemented with some informal
communication- friendships and so on. Removing the static structures and
policies is also essential. In a world where communication is structure,
not taking these measures endangers the very existenc- and certainly the
effectiveness- of the company.

regards, sincerely simon buckingham
Coming shortly, the NEW covering communication in
"Unorganization: The Company Handbook".


"Simon Buckingham" <>

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