Priority #1 as leaders: Great communication with internal teams

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Michael Flynn, VP of sales & marketing, Compendium Inc.
Michael Flynn, VP of sales & marketing, Compendium Inc.

Marketing professionals should understand the importance of good communication to business success. Yet remarkably, we corporate marketing and agency managers frequently fail in our number one priority as leaders—properly communicating internally across teams and even within our own team. The results can be catastrophic to our businesses: poor morale, high turnover, lost opportunities, and lost business.

I've learned from my own experiences a few ideas that can foster better internal communication, and better business performance:

First, attempt to break routine tasks into a project or a campaign. Create clear goals, deadlines, and deliverables for every function. We communicate better around big initiatives, so the idea is to create a sense of urgency of purpose around what is often minutia.

Second, don't meet: huddle. A mandatory morning huddle can get everyone on the same page and identify, early, any challenges or issues that need addressing. Deliver any relevant new information and solicit team challenges or success stories. Keep it to 10 minutes or less. Employees hate meetings, but they love feeling informed and heard, particularly young, talented creative types.

Finally, write fewer emails and spend more time socializing. Don't have an “open door” policy. Rather, initiate impromptu conversations with people on your team and in other functional areas of the business in the kitchen or hallways on business matters. What may feel like small talk may be the most important talk of the day. You'll get a better sense of what's really going on; but, most important, so will your employees.

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