How Effective Use of Telecommunication Technology Eases Workload and Improves Business Relationships.
Back in 2006, I coached “John,” a Senior Vice President in a financial institution with an extremely overbooked calendar. Communicating to his sales team of 1,000 people often required his presence in two or three meetings scheduled at the same time. Needless to say, this impossible busyness reflected in his 360-degree feedback as poor communication and inaccessibility to subordinates.
One of John’s monthly communication efforts involved holding separate monthly Town Hall meetings to update all six of his geographically dispersed teams in their separate worldwide locations and time zones. The repetitive process took at least six hours of his time every other week.
When I met with John, I asked him if he ever considered using the new video technology to communicate more effectively. With reliable telecommunication technology just being introduced at the time, I knew he could tape his Town Hall status update just once, and send the recording by email. Each team-member could also watch it at his/her convenience. We discussed keeping up strong relationships by augmenting the bi-weekly tapes with a quarterly “live” meeting scheduled with each team.
I also asked if he might want to bring in his Communication Specialist to manage the new project. Within six weeks, the support person conducted video system research, pulled together required technology, and started producing the videotapes. In addition, the new responsibilities allowed the Communication Specialist—an employee from within the organization whose main job previously had been writing—to develop skills in the video production niche.
Not only did using videotape save John at least 18 hours a month, but it gave him a better feeling about the needs and activity happening in various locations and a clearer idea of what issues bothered the staff. Plus, answering questions on tape allowed John to directly tailor comments to a specific audience, and share information among teams more effectively.
His constituents also liked the system. It gave every individual team member a chance to see and hear from the boss, and gain access to him by sending in questions. In addition, John expanded the Communication Specialist’s role and responsibilities to gain even more time to focus on strategic issues.
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