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Why You Need to Understand Your Communication Interdependencies

By Anthony Taylor - February 25, 2022

SME Strategy is a strategy consulting company that specializes in aligning teams around their vision, mission, values, goals and action plans. Learn more about how we can help align your team with our strategic planning and implementation services.

Today I want to talk to you about communication interdependencies. And I want to use the example of nodes to do it. So below me, you see, you a bunch of different numbers and a bunch of different lines and how all of them connect. This is the idea of a node or a network. And what I don't think most organizations consider when they think about either implementing their strategic plan or communicating as an organization, is that fundamentally, you are a group of nodes. You are a group of individual components that need to connect and work together.

So a little bit of background on me. I've been facilitating strategic planning sessions for the past 10 years, helping organizations improve their leadership team's effectiveness. We do that through strategic planning and leadership training.

One of the critical components or critical capacities that we look at when we talk about strategy implementation is the ability to communicate. Now you might have heard of top down communication or bottom up communication or across communication within an organization. But have you considered communication interdependencies?

So what does interdependencies mean? It means that I depend on you to get something and you depend on somebody else, and somebody else depends on someone else, etc, etc. And why I find that super relevant to strategic plans and overall effectiveness is because if you don't consider the interdependencies of communication, and you only consider communication one way or two way, you're missing out on part of the picture.

So for example, let's say you're a CEO and you need something from your finance department. But that person in the finance department requires information from a bunch of other sources. And those sources need information from other people, and so on and so forth. So if you only look at communication one way or two way going down or going up, then you're missing the across, all of the prerequisites, and the outcomes of that communication.

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When you think of strategic plans, you have a champion, and then you have all of the different strategic priorities. For those strategic priorities to be successful, they need information from above, below, across, and around the organization in order to be able to move the needle and accomplish their goals.

One of the training workshops that we do in our Implementation Program is about communication interdependencies, for you to be successful in your strategic plan. What information do you need and from whom? Then we do that at the leadership team level so everybody else can get a big picture to say "if you need that information from me, I need that information from that person, and this person needs information from over there". Sometimes the logic is circular, which shows how interconnected a successful strategic plan is.

If you want to accomplish your strategic plan successfully, you cannot do it in a silo. And the first way to kind of break down that silo is to have a conversation around communication interdependencies. Including how your team is going to communicate and continue to communicate as you move forward your strategic initiatives and move forward your work towards your vision.

If you're not sure on how to have that conversation, reach out to our team at SME Strategy. We can tell you about how we start teams off with alignment, making sure we're all on the same page moving forward, and then implementing and taking the steps to unpack that strategic plan.

What I want to leave you with is this: consider how your team communicates. Are you communicating in a way that is sufficient for you to accomplish your goals? If you're feeling like you're in a silo and people aren't getting the information that they need, then you might not have fully considered the communication interdependencies that your organization's success relies on.

I hope you enjoyed today's video on communication interdependencies. I hope it challenges you to take the next step, in order to move forward with your team, start breaking down those silos, and move effectively together.

My name is Anthony Taylor. If you enjoy today's video, be sure to subscribe, connect with us and I'd love to hear your comments on how your team communicates in the comments below.

Thanks for watching!


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