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How Well Does Your Organization Communicate?


Jacob M Engel

Author and CEO of The Prosperous Leader.

I help CEOs and their organizations prosper.

My mentor taught me a model called the 6 Cs of Communication, which helps companies identify where they are in terms of effectiveness at running their organization. They are:

Level 1: Conflict and Competition = Failure

Level 2: Compliance and Communication = Success

Level 3: Cooperation and Collaboration = Prosperity

Conflict And Competition

If there is continuous conflict (e.g., finger-pointing, blaming) and competition (e.g., the right hand doesn’t let the left hand know what it’s doing) in an organization, it's the sign of a major communication failure.

Here is a story to illustrate.

Ed (not his real name) was a third-generation business owner enthusiastic about bringing his kids into the business (a topic that deserves an article all of its own!). The business decided to branch into a related product line and open a facility that Ed's son was assigned to run. But the challenge was, since he wasn’t really trained nor did he have the expertise, that it was never really clear how the son was supposed to do his job.

What unfortunately many leaders impart is what we call “sink or swim." This means Ed's son was supposed to figure it out on his own and either be successful or not. He only got lip service from the parent company as to what their expectations were, but no real training, coaching or collaboration.

There were often times when they were competing in the same business. When serious problems started coming to the surface, it became a blame game. The parent company was blaming him for not achieving and he would blame them for no guidance. Eventually, the facility failed a crucial state test and they had to shut it down and take a serious loss.

Ironically, leadership will continuously blame others with all kinds of excuses rather than take responsibility. But, remember when you point a finger at someone, three fingers point back at you. Continuous finger pointing is a sign of dysfunction.

Companies that continue in this direction will inevitably fail for several reasons.

First, their peopl