So you’ve got your departments in place.
HR, Quality Control, Sales, Customer Services, Finance etc. so you ASSUME everyone communicates with each other, right?
Our observation is that there can be quite a few disjointed areas in SMEs in terms of communication both internal and external which creates issues with growth.
“One of the greatest things I ever did (Gemma Angharad, Director) was spend time in every single department of the global company I was working for. In order for me, as a Sales Manager at the time, to understand exactly what everyone else was up against, I needed to live and breathe it myself. So I did, days and days spent listening to customer calls, processing accounts, solving quality issues all so that I understood the internal workings of the business from all angles.
How could I possibly understand why finance were pestering me for expense forms or why my team couldn’t have new iPads if I didn’t get to grips with what they were up against too? How would I ever understand the pressure of month-end or what their deadlines were and match them with my own. I wouldn’t!
How would I ever realise the implications of ‘just make that one again, my customer is fuming!’, on the production and quality team?
I got to grips with it all and it changed my whole outlook on the business and the company, forever. It made me less focussed on myself and my own results and turned my figures into a representation of team work. This made me more aware of other people’s needs and in turn this passed on to my team who then started to do the same.”
We notice it in some SMEs now where every department is reliant on the others but there is a real communication breakdown in terms of who really needs what.
It’s a good time to apply the 5 dysfunctions of a team theory (Patrick Lencioni if you’ve not read it), a lot of this comes down to repsect and most importantly, absence of trust.
If you are one of those SMEs and you’ve been running from it as an issue, all is not lost!
Starting to protect your company culture and build it further is so important.
Change your communication structure internally, improve pathways to internal communication, appoint someone internally to subtly change this animosity and watch as over time, there is a more cohesive approach. Your staff will be more satisfied, creativity is reborn (as it probably died a death as everyone gave up as there were always too many roadblocks), your customers are less frustrated and you continue to grow!
To make simple changes, with ease, give us a shout and let’s talk it through.