Coordinating business activity is always a challenge, however it becomes more so in times of change or challenge to the business. Almost all business writers (eg. Robert Kaplan) state that communication in such times is critical and transparancy of information is key to getting everyone on-side.
How to do it?
Well within SME’s (typically up to a 200 people) I am a strong fan of teh Kiss principle and believe there is nothing better to focuis and coordinate actions than a “war room” – or in less agressive parlance a “control room”. The attributes of such a room are simple:-
- Big enough for all the essential players to get in.
- Visible form the outside – nothing is more powerful in times of trouble than knowing the management is managing.
- Regular review meetings (usually twice per week) , compulsory attendance of key person or a delegate.
and in my personal preference
- Lots and Lots of whiteboards.
The focus of the “control room” is simple – get everything out in the open & deal with it. Agree actions (noted on the white boards) and be responsible to your peers for delivering those actions. This can be a scary concept to some, but it is effective at binding the team together and motivating all to a team goal
This may all sound terribly trivial, but it works especially well in smaller companies – give it a try and see if it works -t can also be a great release to scribble on the whiteboards and even greater release to rub issues off,