Communication under fire?
There have been some fascinating and moving TV programmes on recently to mark the commemoration of the start of the First World War 100 years ago.
In some ways it seems like a bygone age where horsepower was still literally relied upon, a view helped of course by the black and white images jerkily making their way across our screens. Yet in other ways the problems faced by the troops and their Commanders don’t seem to have changed very much.
I was watching ‘Our World War’ a drama which brought to life the real experiences of survivors of that first day of fighting. It seemed incredible to see that the front line Officers were reliant upon ‘runners’ men who would literally run between the front line and headquarters to bring updated orders and take field reports back to command.
In these days of mobile phones and instant communication it was incredible to see the Company runner desperately trying to go back and forth with information and orders which were inevitably out of date even before he could complete his work. Surely that sort of situation must be a thing of the past?
Yet no, we have all heard of the ‘fog of war’ that descends once the theorising is over and the hostilities commence. Even today modern communications can’t keep pace with a fast changing scene and in such circumstances individual soldiers must make their own decisions based upon what they know and have absorbed of the overall objectives of the campaign. Its then that the real heroes appear.
So back to business.
Even with the latest communication devices, business leaders can’t know everything about what’s going on in their business. Individual decisions are made every day by front line staff who are dealing with customers and suppliers. It’s them who will leave an impression good or bad about how well or how badly the business is run, potentially the difference between success and failure!
Do your staff have a proper training in what the business is aiming to achieve both in the short term and the long term. Do they understand how you want the business to be seen by customers and suppliers? Have you done enough to give them the information to make the right decision when you’re not around to supervise or at the end of a phone to tell them?
What techniques are you using in your business to ensure all of your ‘front-line’ staff give the best impression and the best service to existing and potential customers and suppliers?
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