Whenever an executive joins a new company, there is an awkward merger between the executive’s preferred communication style and the norms that organization has already established. I remember a recently joined executive complaining that engineers weren’t reading his emails. He “solved” that problem by sending another email, this one instructing the team that they were responsible for reading their email twice a day.
You won’t be shocked to learn that this didn’t really solve the problem. Most communication was done via chat, and the team didn’t have a habit of checking email. Shifting an organization’s patterns is slow, and requires far more than one angry announcement.
What was educational for me was that the mandate appeared to work! Although many engineers didn’t change their habits, team managers started to reshare key emails in their team chat channels, and everyone was able to continue communicating as they were most comfortable. (Lest you decide to repeat this experiment, I will note that there was some grumbling among the team managers.)
One takeaway here could be that your management team will probably make communication work, one way or another, no matter how poorly you do it. That might even be true, but your goal is to make things run more effectively, not less. Fortunately, you can significant improve the quality of internal communcations within your organization by adopting four practices: