Transitioning to Senior Leadership: Creating Structured Communication

So, how do you make the shift from consensus or compliance to commitment? Here is the first of three key areas in which to focus.
1. Create Structured and Intentional Communication. 
The first focus area is creating structured communication. This piece of the commitment puzzle is about being intentional with your messaging and utilizing all of the channels of communication that you have in a systematic way. It’s about ensuring that you and other leaders on your leadership team are communicating the same or similar message that is aligned with the company direction. It’s also about utilizing multiple communication channels to spread your message consistently every day. John Kotter, in his classic Harvard Business Review article Leading Change, talks about the power of 10 leaders sending 10 messages every day, instead of solely relying on just the All-hands meeting as the primary channel of communication.
Here are some critical considerations when creating structured communication. 
  • What is the key information that needs to get cascaded out to your organization?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What vehicles/communication channels can we use?
  • What is the frequency and cadence of that communication?
Structured communication tends to be more challenging for leaders who are spontaneous in nature and do things “on the fly.” And, it may also take more energy for the introverted leader with the natural tendency to do things from behind their computer terminal. Creating and delivering structured communication requires getting out in front of people and connecting with them – intentionally – at every  turn from the chance encounter around the proverbial water cooler to your regular team meeting.
Stay tuned for the other two components for generating commitment from your people.