Steer issue 21 APRIL 2019 - Page 20



COMMUNICATION
How the
Cloud can boost
your Business
PART ONE
Introduction:
It’s often said that good communication is vital in business.
Why do so many of us get it wrong? I’d like to explore the
problems with traditional communication methods and look
at the ways we can solve them.
The Problem:
Most businesses use email as their number one method of
communicating, externally, and internally. Email seems like
the perfect communication tool, as you can use it to reach
anyone, anywhere as long as you know their address.
There are, however, a number of problems with email.
• By design email is exclusive, you have to decide who to
send to and who not to. How often have you sent an email,
realised you should have added someone to it, and sent
another email with the same info as the first?
• As the business grows it’s increasingly hard to keep teams
updated. Email attachments are saved individually, so
information is quickly duplicated or lost altogether.
• Information shared via email becomes outdated quickly.
People don’t read their emails at the same time, so some
learn things before others. Some important information is
buried under all other unread emails. New updates are read
before previous ones, so create confusion.
• Too much time wasted finding info or reinventing the
wheel on repeatable tasks. If information is spread out, or
only shared with some people, there is no way of being
20 STEER YOUR BUSINESS
sure that processes, tools, or tasks are done correctly and
evenly. People will come up with their own ways, if they
can’t find existing info on how to do them.
• How many times has a colleague asked a question and
you’ve wasted time saying “let me just find the email with
that information”?
What you and your team want is more inclusion, not less.
Inclusion means they are informed. Informed about big
things like the direction of the business, future plans, and
how well it is performing, but also small things like how
much paper is used every month, who’s birthday it is, and
which team member is working on which task. If everyone is
informed and included they feel more involved in the overall
business, which makes them more likely to want to help the
business run the best way it can. They feel more valued, so
are willing to put more of themselves into their work. Inclusion
breeds innovation as more voices are heard and more
opinions taken heed of.
The Solution:
OK smart guy, I hear you say, what do we do instead? Doesn’t
everyone use email?
Well yes, but just because everyone does it, doesn’t mean
you should use it. I’m not saying you should stop using
all email immediately, just not as your primary means of
communication.

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