I recently asked acoustics expert David Greenberg what the greatest concert hall is. He quickly replied, “For what?” He went on to explain that different venues are better for certain types of performances.
When you think about the best way to communicate with your team, ask yourself, “To do what?” Concert halls designed to accommodate every type of performance become mediocre for each. Similarly, leaders must abandon homogeneous communication strategies. In order to communicate effectively with team members unite them around your vision, analyze the purpose, constraints and potential solutions related to your team.
A leader’s communication strategy varies depending upon a team’s purpose, strategy and posture. Communication with teams possessing dominant market positions will likely be more formal, systematic and direct, in line with the discipline required to maintain that top position. Conversely, teams playing niches or creating completely new things will be better served by a more informal, adaptive and reflective approach.
One major constraint for leaders will be the organization and community environment in which teams operate. Team communication nests within accepted norms. But those create an all-purpose/no-purpose hall that, almost by definition, is a compromise.
The answer to creating an effective multi-purpose venue is found in flexible components like orchestra shells, and adjustable sound-absorbing materiel deployed when needed and stored when not, creating different sound boxes as appropriate. David makes the point that the sound has to be right for both the audience and the performers.
Helping the musicians hear themselves and each other is the most important thing because if they are happy they are going to produce the best results.
This is true for high-performing teams as well. As a leader, you need to make sure the people on your team can hear themselves and each other if you want them to produce the best results.
Think in terms of a multi-purpose hall, giving different teams and different sub-teams the ability to modify the box to fit their needs so they can hear themselves and each other better.
Leadership is about inspiring and enabling others. A big piece of this is creating an enabling environment so people can inspire each other.