My colleagues and I always talk about the importance of strong communication skills. And we also always talk about a few business world realities that make communication hard: too many meetings, overwhelming amounts of information, multi-tasking to the point of complete distraction, short attention spans, etc, etc, etc. We talk about these issues constantly.
These issues are not new. These realities have been in place for several years now, at least a decade. But while the business world realities that make communication hard are not new, the cost of poor communication IS new. The cost is now staggeringly high, and it goes up every single day.
The cost of poor communication leads to lost time, failed recruitment, bad hiring, extended time to market, lost sales, missed innovation, dysfunctional teams, low esprit de corps, and unconscionable amounts of wasted resources. Indeed the realities of our world are not new, but the higher costs are. As our business world becomes faster, more virtual, more global, the opportunities go up. But as the opportunities go up, so does the competition, and so does the cost of the missed opportunity.
We live in a world that possesses the tools for great efficiency. But success requires more than tools. Success requires skills AND tools.
How can you specifically quantify the cost of poor communication for you? It will be different for everyone, and perhaps a bit subjective. But the next time you are in a crappy meeting, look around the table and estimate what the group earns in that hour. Your waste is not only what it is costing to have that group there, but also the cost of what they are NOT doing at that moment. Think about how expensive that next bad hire will be. Or how expensive it will be to add two months to your time to market.
We always talk about the value of great communication. But let’s flip it around. Instead of thinking about how good it will be when we communicate well, think about how expensive it will be when we communicate poorly.
Have a great day.