Thinking in Systems
In this case, I’ll use systems thinking to unpack this statement.
Let’s think of a team (i.e. knowledge workers) as a system.
A simple system consists of three parts:
- ⇥ Inflows: What information do I have access to?
- ⌁ Stocks: How do I process the information?
- ⇢ Outflows: What is the final output of my information processing work?
In short: Imagine I talk to my direct report. (1) I give her context around the problem and some information, (2) she synthesizes the information, and (3) creates a final report that we can use for a presentation.
In a system, you want to reduce waste.
There are two ways you can be wasteful:
Inefficiency: Too many inflows for the same outflow. (= doing the thing wrong)
Ineffectiveness: Outflows in poor or incorrect quality. (= doing the wrong thing)
If we look at the statement from above we will see that it is inherently inefficient:
Always OVERCOMMUNICATE. Don’t be afraid of flooding your team’s inboxes or Slack notifications. Your team can never be TOO in the know.
IF you as a manager are concerned that your team doesn’t have enough information, then your best bet is to establish tight documentation
and start practicing a Pull Communication