I Tweeted a post from simply-communicate.com on their review of Terry Leahy’s ‘Management in 10 words’ but thought repeating a few words of the post here. Leahy (former CEO at Tesco) emphasises the value of face-to-face in a time when email and social media permit managers to easily avoid it. Importantly, the review reports Leahy stating:
“Each day in stores, depots and offices, managers would brief their team leaders who, in turn, briefed their teams. We called them Team Five meetings – because they only took five minutes and so they could be done standing up. Those five minutes made a big difference, as everyone then knew what was going on and that they had a part to play. Even in the age of instant communication, it takes a manager longer than five minutes to compose a bad email.”
The review also states that when Leahy took over at Tesco “he commissioned the most exhaustive customer research in the history of Tesco – and I suspect of any FTSE 100 company. And then he acted on what customers told him they did not like about shopping at Tesco and set about fixing things detail by detail.”
Both emphasise the need for regular and open communications with whoever you are dealing with, be they customers, citizens or colleagues, along with having a loop in place to act upon critical feedback. This is not a case of establishing focus groups or small cliques, but of actively listening to what is going on in the big world.