Posted by: johnocunningham | August 24, 2017

Want to Improve Your Firm? Focus on Management Practices and Communication

According to an academic study of 12,000 firms in 34 countries, which was recently featured in the Harvard Business Review, firms with strong core management practices are more profitable, grow faster and are less likely to implode.

Firms that shifted from the worst 10 percent in best management processes to the best 10 percent enjoyed 25 percent faster growth and 75 percent greater per-worker productivity.

Among the best management practices are many that have to do with communication. This is not surprising, given that managers spend more than half their time focused on organizational communication. Unfortunately, as at least one study has suggested, managers are most in need of help with their communications skills, with 86 percent of employees asserting that managers think they are good communicators, but only 17 percent saying that managers actually knew how to communicate well. There is a neat little article on this point by Cutting Edge PR.

As a former executive, I was selected by employees to head up a communications task force dedicated to improving communications, and we found numerous opportunities for improvement and came up with a report full of recommendations that were later adopted and confirmed by a considerably more expensive group of outside consultants.

The fact is that improving communication is not accomplished through platitudes and wishful thinking. It takes serious thinking and examination of an organization’s structure and internal inter-personal dynamics. It also often requires individual coaching of some managers who need an outside agent to facilitate their ability to focus on and improve workplace communication.

If you are looking for a place to start when guiding your organization to a better future, focus on optimizing organizational communication. It will ignite the intellectual creativity within your walls, geometrically improve the collaboration, and unleash the passionate energy that employees really want to bring to work but so often hide for fear of standing out.


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