Why it's important to communicate by sharing

Why it's important to communicate by sharing

For many businesses, communication is the key. Communicating with their staff, with their customers, with their suppliers, with their competitors and with their advisers. It's an important key because without that communication, you can wind up in an echo chamber, with only the ideas and information you're generating or aware of on your own. That limited amount of knowledge doesn't allow you to grow, improve, find issues or solve problems. It's highly limiting, and can only lead to a dead end. There are many businesses who have demonstrated how harmful that can be, from technology companies to service based companies who didn't have a healthy outside (or industry insider) perspective on their processes, products and people.

That's something that is easy to avoid, as long as you remain conscious of its danger and aware of the actions that must be taken to avoid it.

Communication doesn't mean opening yourself up to everyone's opinion of what you should do, who you are, and how you should be running a company. That's not the case at all. What it does mean is that you need to establish a way to share information between the people on whom your company depends and the people in your industry who have a valuable perspective and can provide insight when you need it. That sharing will work both ways too!

Surrounding yourself with advisers who run the range of people whose knowledge is important can be a good way to do that. Meeting regularly with them in a think tank or brains trust is a positive thing to do. But perhaps the best method is to always keep information flowing out of your business, in order to gather responses to it. This is almost taking an "open source" approach to your own business, where you are ready and willing to explore what you know and what you want others to help inform you about.

Regularly sharing news, blog posts, white papers, research and concepts is an immensely powerful thing to do. You'll find that the time you spend on generating this kind of information and providing it to key people will always come back to you in the form of knowledge and insight ROI. Developing it can also enable you to get a stronger handle on the data and the knowledge sitting inside your business, and gain a fresh point of view from the people you choose to collaborate with. Beyond that, it also lets you maintain a "progress library" that you can turn to in order to measure how much your business has increased in its own bank of data and reporting. It's a process that doesn't have to happen over night, but even if you gradually ease into it, the reactions can be positive.

Ultimately, your goal is never to give away your secrets or accept too much data. That's not healthy at all. But you do want to breed a culture and a tradition of being both experts in your field and ready to take on better expert opinions. It will help you strategically and it will help the way customers and collaborators perceive you.

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