The Strategic Implications of Organizational Communication

In today's fast-paced business environment, executing strategy with agility is crucial for success. However, evidence demonstrates that the majority of companies struggle to deliver on their objectives, as disclosed by their own admission. Shockingly, 95 percent of employees are either unaware of or do not comprehend their company's strategy[1], which may explain why 48 percent of organizations fail to reach at least half of their strategic targets[2].

Successful execution of organizational strategy is the result of thousands of decisions made daily by employees, who act based on the information available and their own self-interest. To create organizations with a robust execution capability, the power of communication must not be overlooked. Clear communication forms the foundation of successful organizational strategy execution and is vital for ensuring that all stakeholders understand the objectives, are aligned with the timeline, and have the information necessary to take action. Employees are more likely to achieve their goals when they understand their tasks, timelines, and expected outcomes. Effective communication ensures that everyone is on the same page, reducing the probability of missed deadlines, poor quality work, and failure to achieve strategic objectives.

Clear communication is also critical for organizational agility. In today’s globalized, communication-constrained and increasingly technology-dependent organizations, a need has developed for leaders who can manage rapid innovation. Agility is the ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances, which is crucial for businesses in today's competitive environment. Clear communication is essential for facilitating the rapid exchange of information, enabling organizations to respond effectively to changes. In an agile organization, employees are empowered to make quick decisions and take immediate action. However, to do so, they require access to relevant information that allows them to understand the context in which they operate and make informed decisions.

Leaders of all levels play a critical role in establishing these open lines of communication. Wise leaders across industries will find that promoting the free flow of information throughout their organization can lead to significant performance improvements. To prosper, companies need access to relevant, timely, and valid information to respond to changing stakeholder needs or to function efficiently. Leaders must model a culture of clear communication by admitting their own errors, seeking out counterarguments, and behaving as they want others to behave. Over time, these actions foster a culture of open communication, promote a sense of psychological safety across the organization, and create systems and norms that encourage workers to give candid feedback, openly admit mistakes and actively learn from each other. This is likely to give organizations an edge in managing, formulating, and executing their strategy, and improve the overall functioning of the organization as well as the bottom line.


Binyamin Cooper, Ph.D.


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Binyamin Cooper, Ph.D.