I am always suspect of self-serving studies done by consulting companies...probably because I have conducted these kinds of studies myself. But a recent study by Watson Wyatt Worldwide of the relationship between internal communication and financial performance of organizations grabbed my attention. One of the findings in particular surprised me. Referring to their 2007/2008 study they said:
Since the 2003/2004 study, there has been a decline in the number of companies that take the time to explain the reasons behind major decisions and give employees the opportunity to provide input into decisions that affect them and into how the work gets done.
Where have these executives been? Experience and research show clearly that for any kind of major change in an organization to be successful employees must understand the reasons behind the decisions and have an opportunity for input. Handing down edicts from on-high doesn't work. We all know this. Peter Senge wrote in 1990, in the Fifth Discipline, that organizations have a learning disability that prevents them from learning from their own knowledge and experience and the knowledge and experience of others. Apparently, the number of organizations that have this disability is increasing.