(Time to read this Blog article is about 50 seconds)
Earlier this year I spoke at a Marketing Conference in Miami for a technology business that had recently been purchased by a huge global conglomerate. They are growing rapidly, introducing new products, opening new markets and adding lots of new people. Everything about the business is changing…and then changing again.
One frustrated manager told me that as the company grows, lack of communication has become a big problem. In the good old days, when they were smaller (15 months ago), he knew what everyone on the team was doing…but not now. He insisted that they all need to communicate much more.
I’m all for communication. We need to know enough to do our job and deliver our commitments to customers, to each other and to our bottom line. But if everyone in a business takes the time to know everything that everyone else is doing, the business will grind to a halt. At some point we have to trust that the others are doing what’s required to move the business forward.
I asked this stressed-out manager if he had a wife back in Cleveland…and he did. I asked him if he knew for absolutely sure what his wife was doing every minute during the three days that he was at the Conference in Miami. He said he didn’t but he trusted that she was doing good stuff that would move their lives forward. “But”, I said, “realistically, she could be in a motel somewhere with an old college boyfriend.”
Then I asked him if his wife knew for absolutely sure that he was at this Conference at the Doral and not shacked up with some cutie in Ft. Lauderdale. He said that his wife would trust that he was at the Conference and doing good stuff that would move their family forward.
So, here in this small two person ‘business’ called a marriage, they can’t possibly know for sure what the other person is doing all the time…and it all revolves on trust.
It’s the same in any business. What we really need is to be able to ‘trust’ that what others in the organization are doing is good and will move the business forward. Trust may be just as important as communication.
Does your business have a culture of trust or a culture of paranoia? If you’re not sure, go rock-climbing together…and it will all become clear.