Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chipping away........

Yesterday I sent out our first communication survey for the project - to 1465 people who have email and internet access.

The aim of the survey being to gain an understanding of what people know about the project, what they want to know (because it's going to affect a lot of people in many different ways) and of course asking what format they want that information in.

The truth is our company sucks pretty badly in the communication stakes, purely my opinion, but I'm not alone with my thoughts. What you don't hear at the coffee machine or in a conversation with a co-worker is not worth knowing and its not necessarily the most accurate form of communication either.

So here's the problem with all of this - they (the wider employee group) whinge about the lack of previous communication across the company, but if they won't help themselves to learn more then what hope do you have? Similar to the fact that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

It's also hard not to take it personally when the comments coming back are that the project team are aloof and hostile. I'm not even sure how you to begin to make 32 individuals more approachable and less aloof when they are on a mammoth project with tight timelines. This whole project business is hard work.

The communication channels are there, we've created all the material yet we're dealing with a culture of secrecy, hidden information and distrust. How do you change an age old culture to get our message across?

I feel like I have a massive big iceberg in front of me, along with what is hidden beneath the surface as well. The only way past this obstacle is with small snippets of communication, building trust and slowly chipping away at the monster we face. It's frustrating, it's challenging, it's my life at the moment.

Me the impatient one, having to go slow and steady. Who would have ever thought?

Cheers, Fi

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. ~ George Bernard Shaw


  1. I always believe that acknowledging the problem is the first step -- and you have definitely done that!

    Good on ya'! :) (I'm trying out my Australian accent)

    Love the Shaw quote. I'd forgotten it -- glad you reminded me.

  2. Ohh Fi, I so feel your pain. I work in a very similar culture with the lack of communication and me always trying to bridge the gap. In the end, you can't help those that don't help themselves. I draft memos, we have meetings, I do follow up emails, handbooks, training manuals, etc and half the time they still dont know what to do, whats going on, etc but did they ever ask questions NO, not until it was too late of course. Ughh.


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