Characteristic # 10—Effective Communication

The way an organization communicates (or doesn’t communicate) internally to its members and externally to its stakeholders and customers will determine its capacity to be agile. Effective communication is necessary for managing change and everything else, for that matter.

But communication is more complicated with change. The decision about when to exercise centralized and decentralized decision-making isn’t always straightforward. Communicating a proposed course-of- action and gathering feedback across the organization during a busy time, although important, is time consuming. We’re all familiar with leaders who by-pass this communication imperative in the interests of “saving time.” The management myth that employees cant be trusted with sensitive information (Chap. 11), reinforces or justifies this lack of engagement with employees. But without a free flowing communication channel, employees can equate proactive behavior with career diminution.

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