Have you ever bristled at this question? Everyone is talking about technology trends and the unlocking of new data sources. However, the extent to which people are communicating effectively with one another about what these trends can do for them varies greatly. So what gets in the way?
First, we keep talking about IT and the business as if they are separate entities. I have studied hundreds of organizational structures and I have never seen a box labeled “the business” so what does this even mean- “IT and the business” need to communicate better?
Information technology is a department, a function of the business, an industry and a discipline just as finance, human resources, corporate communications, marketing, operations, sales, legal et cetera. The reality is we could each benefit from improving our communication with one another. Each discipline brings expertise and a language that is deeply rooted in that discipline. We are each experts in our respective domain. That is a good thing.
The real opportunity is when we come together to further the very thing we have in common- an interest in our organization’s success. Here are five ways we can each take responsibility to communicate better with our colleagues:
Express an interest in better understanding the value the other functions and business units bring to the organization. Learn about the specific products and services each of your colleagues is responsible for delivering.
Educate and inform to help one another understand the work each of your organizations do, how you do it, and what some of the most critical business intersections are. Share the trends and opportunities that are impacting your discipline and your industry. Include the impact new technologies may have on how your work is performed. Share the information (data) you use to make decisions and where you get that data.
Establish mutual empathy to better understand how your organizations impact one another. Be open to understanding where decisions you make help or hinder your colleagues. Listen without the temptation to solve at this point. Listen for understanding and insights.
Build rapport and trust by beginning to find ways to work together. Bring what you have learned to your teams to help find ways to establish deeper relationships within your function to learn more about how you each support various aspects of the rest of the business. Then begin reaching out into the areas of the business you work with to further the organization’s overall success.
Develop win/win solutions TOGETHER by extending and applying your relationships and learnings across departments to the way you plan, resource, and execute on the most transformational work possible. As a leadership team now powered by your collective expertise, knowledge, and deep understanding and appreciation of the organization to whose success you are all deeply committed you will be capable of more than ever!
Please share examples where you have been more successful by communicating more effectively within your own organization or when you wish you had…