Here is a list of criteria I use to evaluate communication systems and practices. While no system will demonstrate all of these elements, the more the better.
- More PULL than PUSH. More than being inclusive, it engages people and is interesting.
- Nimble and changeable with built in feedback loops.
- No reduction of core content (intent, emotion, connective elements, calls to action). (Content degradation is common when information cascades from high to lower levels, for example.)
- As simple as possible. Low hassle factor.
- Works when imperfectly executed. Never build a system that only your top 10% of managers or employees will use properly. The best systems work even when people botch aspects of it.
- Serves all/many stakeholders and users.
- Sustainable. Can be maintained and continued.
- Leaders change with the topic (is not a one way or lead by same person all the time).
- It is clear – everyone knows their role and the overall flow of information.
Use this list to test out your current communication practices or when you come up with new ideas for improvement.