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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Small Business Advantage #2: Effective Communication

"The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

The larger the organization is, the greater this illusion becomes.

As organizations grow, communication challenges grow as well. In fact, they grow dramatically faster (exponentially) than the organization headcount does.

To illustrate: In an organization with 3 people, there are only 3 possible different interactions.
  • In an organiztion with 25 people (8x as many people), there are 300 possible different interactions = 100x increase in the complexity of communications
Taking the analogy only to a 100 person organization:
  • In an organization with 100 people (33x as many people), there are 4,950 possible different interactions = 1,650x increase in the complexity of communications
BOTTOMLINE: Growing organizations respond to increased complexity by creating layers (business units, divisions, departments, teams, groups, etc.). Add to this challenge -- 55% of communication really takes place through non-verbal body language (not phone, not email, not IMs, not video conferencing.)

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