Communication has replaced Collaboration

“Lack of communication” is a complaint often leveled against employers by their employees.  “Nobody told me,” “I didn’t get the memo,” and “There’s something they’re not telling us” are often signs our team members feel disengaged.

I don’t’ believe that this disengagement is caused by a lack of communication. When it comes to the flow of information, we are like puppies with the windows rolled down.  So much fresh information, we don’t have enough capacity to absorb it all. In the digital age of email, intranets, Facebook, and Google Docs, we communicate incessantly, obsessively, and ultimately irrelevantly.

The truth is communication has replaced collaboration.  I started my career just before the growth of the internet and email exploded.  I remember having to walk down the hall or pick up the phone to make contact with my mentors.  We had meaningful and interactive conversations that challenged my mind and engaged my senses.  Now, our culture is to fire off emails left and right to ensure CYA.  What is lacking in the flood of electronic yapping is a forum for real people to have real conversations about real solutions to real problems.

Want to be a problem-solver?  Don’t just communicate, collaborate!

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