18 Pages

“Just Getting Together and Talking”

Practice #6: Empowering Communication
ByBob Fisher, Bo Thomas

The issue of “chimney communication” versus “just getting together and talking about the best ways to do things” is relevant to many teams. Don Petersen’s group grappled with the issue of a cumbersome and sluggish organizational structure and communication process that simply were not working. They learned a much better way from their own internal Taurus project. Without exception, the teams represented by our team leaders consciously realized the need to create an atmo- sphere and a system that rewarded open communication. Poor communication could cost lives in Steve Trent’s Thunderbird flying team, in Lou Whittaker’s climbing team, or in General Brady’s rescue team. A vice-president in a mid-sized southwestern insurance company recently described the very painful process of downsizing his staff as a result of business conditions. He recounted a very sensitive and respectful approach to talented individuals who were experiencing a sudden and unwanted termination.