When a department has a change they think will affect the organisation as a whole they will send a broadcast email to the whole office.
In a past post I mentioned to perhaps also enter the email address of a blog, so the email can also be published in a blog (post to blog via email).
This way in the future we can consult the blog to remember what’s happened in the past (even derive a bit of analysis and patterns) rather than search through our emails, plus comments enable a two way interaction (valuable insight from the social captial).
Unless the whole office is subscribed to the blog, this still needs to be a broadcast email.
But what about changes that will not affect the whole enterprise, a department has to stop and think, who is going to need to know about these changes we are making.
What they do is find the relevant email groups and send the email announcement.
But have they reached everyone who needs to know…who knows?
Another scenario is a department makes some changes where they can’t forsee it affecting others, so they just communicate the announcement within their own team.
Or maybe they announce their changes to a few people in another department, but those people fail to pass the message on within their own team.
As we can see, there is too much cognitive stress in figuring out who your audience is, there is too much relying on others to let others know.
I was on a Document Management Support call and I couldn’t work out why something was behaving different than usual.
My last resort was to ask the IT Support team to troubleshoot the problem.
After explaining the problem, IT told me they changed something in the system and that’s why I was having these issues. It seems they couldn’t forsee how their changes to the system affected my knowledge capability of supporting users.
The problem was easily resolved as I was verbally communicated the remedy.
The problem here is that it was reactionary, I had to have an issue and demand the solution, plus it was embarrasing as they use could clearly see that our departments aren’t communicating properly.
To conclude I was not privy to knowing about this change (nothing to do with privacy, moreso not being on the emai list), and I should have been as it affected my capacity to work, and ultimately wasted company time.
This is typical departmental communication silos, and it’s happening a milion times now in every organisation as I publish this post.
Solution is visibility
The remedy is so easy…we need more visibility, rather than using email and email lists.
Visibility is exactly what I posted about the other day. It’s no a big social enterprise 2.0 effort, it just has to be visible.
In this example if the IT department published this change in a blog announcement, they don’t have to forsee which people this change will affect, as the blog is visible and public for all to see.
As mentioned before thay could still email a list, but also email the blog email address, that way, others not on the email list, can wander over to the blog homepage and see what’s new, or they could even subscribe to the blog.
By just adding the blog email address to that communication we solve the problems in the scenario described above. All it takes is putting one more email address in your email, and you don’t have to worry about lacking to communicate to all the concerned parties.
In turn we have less confusion and embarrasment, and have not wasted time and money.
Visibility is the key.
Decisions, process and actions in one department will affect another, and it’s hard to speculate all parties that will be affected, so why not make this communication public, and others can tune in.
As I mentioned in my K-flow post:
Pull = RSS subscription
Push = email broadcast
We are pushing to who we think should know; we are certain they will get the message as we are pushing it into their inbox, and we can even get a receipt they have read the email.
We are also pushing the message to publish to a blog, without having to go to the blog.
People can visit or pull (subscribe) the new content from this blog
- now people we didn’t think of who should know may be informed
Without any extra effort other than including the blog email address:
- we are not changing the way we work
- we feel secure in knowing we have pushed the message to who should know
- we can also feel comfort in knowing that the public (visitors and blog subscribers) will know what’s going on
- we can visit the blog to see the history of announcement (rather than searching our email)
- people can leave comments for feedback, discussion, etc…
If we had an enterprise blog culture and I was confronted with the scenario above:
A. I would already know the answer as I subscribe to the right blogs
If I didn’t subscribe, I would visit…
B. my teams blog
C. the IT Changes blog
All this without me having to even talk with anyone, and without IT having to know that I should know.
Visibility is the key to communications.