This is a short preview of a Course that I plan to modify and teach.
- Design a corporate communications strategy that strikes a healthy balance between complete centralization and total decentralization.
- Create special mechanisms to encourage the upward transmission of information and opinion, including bad news.
- Create a special advisory or “ombudsperson” role for someone who is free to roam the organization and can “speak truth to power” without fear of retribution.
- Avoid excessive reliance on formal communication channels and messages; make effective use of informal communication—from the design of orientation programs to ongoing work processes.
- Establish double communication linkages between each hierarchical level of the organization and the ones immediately above and below it.
- Cultivate liaisons between departments that are traditionally distant from or in conflict with one another (e.g., marketing and production).
- Ensure that leaders or managers of units have strong relations with superiors at least two levels above them.
- Formulate projects that will require the meaningful coordination of multiple units of the organization. And, develop multiple communication networks throughout the organization.
- Limit the size of work teams, task forces, and working committees to 9 members; the same principle applies to the effective span of control or number supervised.
- To the extent possible, design or redesign workplaces so as to foster group interaction.
- View new communication and computer technologies in a complementary role with respect to other means of communication, rather than seeing technology as complete substitute for non-mediated forms of communication or as a panacea for organizational problems.
- Be attuned to the inevitable phases in the development of a group or organization, so that no structure is seen as necessarily permanent and such that flexibility can be maintained.