Sunday, May 22, 2016

How Do Leaders Improve The Cascading Of Key Information? Part #1

Recently during a senior team meeting where we were discussing problems related to getting information cascaded in a clear and consistent manner, I was asked the following question: “Is this a people issue or a communication issue?”

My response was “Yes.”

Any time I hear issues related to cascading, I think back to the book that caused this word to enter into the lexicon of  business leaders across the country, namely Patrick Lecioni’s The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: A Leadership Fable, (Jossey-Bass, 2000). To review the four disciplines, they are the following:

1. Build and maintain a cohesive leadership team.
2. Create organizational clarity.
3. Over-communicate organizational clarity.
4. Reinforce organizational clarity through human systems.

The concept of cascading is part of discipline #3, namely “Over-communicate organizational clarity.” Here the author focuses on four key points to make this happen:

- repetition
- simplicity
- multiple mediums
- cascading messages

What many leaders forget is that cascading begins with clarity. What we are cascading starts with what we are over-communicating. And over-communicating starts with clarity about identity and direction. Cascading is a people and a communication problem but most of all it is a clarity issue. If you are having problems with cascading, you have to realize that you are actually having problems with clarity.

This week, ask yourself the following two questions:

- Does my leadership team agree on our identity and direction?

- Are they able to communicate this information in a clear and concise manner?

Answering these two questions is the precursor to over-communicating organizational clarity.

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

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