Rethink Your Communication As A CEOs

04.03.13 BlogThere is a PR firm that did a survey on the amount of time Canadian CEO’s spend on communication. According to the survey,  they found that  almost half of their time was spent on communication.

It really didn’t impress me with the findings because when you think about it, CEO’s should spend that much time on communicating with their team. If you consider both direct and indirect communication, the results may come out to be something like 90%.

So, how much of what they do involve communication of one kind or another, and how much does not?

Well, CEO’s are major decision makers. But before they make a decision, a good CEO must gather information from the appropriate specialists in their organization. They also may check other options by reading newspapers and magazines, attending conferences, and talking to their peers. All of which involve communication.

For example, let’s say a CEO must decide whether or not to launch an important new product line. Before making a decision, the CEO will have had many discussions, received numerous reports, consulted with senior members of various departments, made certain considerations;  such as the country’s economic outlook for the  coming months and years, talk to others about what competitors might do, and review the financial implications with the VP of corporate finance.

It’s all about collecting, filtering, and collaborating information. When all of these elements are put together we have what we call communication.

Another important CEO function is visualizing a new future for the organization and developing a strategy based on it.  Again, communication can’t be taken out of the mix.

After all, a vision is the outcome of reflective thinking combined with information, knowledge, and insight. All of which come from communicating.

There is often a great deal of information that tumbles around in the mind, over and over, like clothes in a dryer, until eventually a new and promising pattern reveals itself effect before a vision emerges.

For instance, presume the Vice President of Human Resources has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer. The board made it perfectly clear that one of the expectations is for the new CEO to put his own, distinctive imprint on the company.

He might spend countless hours in his office trying to think of a new direction. Nonetheless, it’s far more likely he’ll reach out, rather than withdraw. He’ll consult with his staff on the front line as well as his managers. He’ll read books and magazines that he may feel will direct him in the way he needs to go.

As he gathers more information , as the communication process develops his resourcefulness and knowledge, he’ll start to visualize possibilities. Some more promising than others, will be shared with others in the organization. Eventually, some sort of agreement will likely emerge and as a result, a promising vision is developed.

CEO’s do more than communicate, but nearly everything they are compelled or swayed by the communication processes that occurs inside and outside the organization.


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