Isn’t it enough that I told them?

Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro, Ofelia, Pale Man

Surely, just one grape

Information is a one-way presentation, communication is a two-way dialogue. Communication has to include a feedback loop to be called communication. Any strategy that includes “I told them” is not enough.

Does your organization communicate or inform?

Does your leader invite conversation at the table?

Does your leader offer an environment of dialogue?

If the answer is no, how does that affect organization motivation throughout all levels?

Do your project leaders and project sponsors sit around the table and audit the failed implementations with comments like, “but I told them about the change, isn’t it enough that I told them?”

What about dialogue?  Some might label, alternatively, call, communication, dialogue.

I Told Them, Once

Should organizations open themselves up to dialogue?  I can’t imagine why they would not.  With 65% of projects dead on arrival and 70 – 90% of all projects failing to deliver on time, within budget, or up to expectation, why not?

Even John Kotter, author of iconic Leading Change, believes 70% of all major change efforts in organizations fail. Why not start more more communication more dialogue?

With an optimistic measure of only 35% of projects getting beyond planning stage and 10% of projects underway failing to succeed in their original scope, there should be an obvious difference between getting it done and getting it accomplished:   one-way presentation is getting it done, 2-way communication is striving to get it accomplished.

Plow Forward, Get it Done

Who in your organization communicates and who informs? Are decisions made and a communication strategy built to only really inform the organization of the direction, similar to a press release campaign?

Or is a communication strategy built to invite dialogue, insight, and shared experiences in a forum that builds understanding, commitment, and ownership from a view that stakeholders can contribute and relate to?

How is information measured for effectiveness?


Meetings held?

Number of views?


Communication offers a message constant development to grow with feedback and stakeholders insight. The opportunity to be heard is one of the greatest motivators for commitment.

Spend more time on stakeholder awareness, improve communication and information before your project is funded. No one person can understand the full impact of a project.

However, through dialogue you can understand stakeholder views or hang ups to commitment. Instead of informing, open a dialogue, build a collaborative effort that invites people into the organization’s future.  A future people want to be part of.

With a communication strategy, more people understand where they make a difference and their role. This improves alignment.

With involvement, opportunity is given to hear concerns previously unidentified or not provided credence. Getting drawn into dialogue can only improve confidence and help tighten an approach.

Getting things done and getting things accomplished are not the same thing.

Leaders, those in name only, want things done.  However, the risks are too high for your leader to not provide a culture of accomplishment, and that only comes through communication.

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