Falling on deaf ears: Why good ideas get lost on employees

Not sure why your great ideas seem lost on employees, or why they aren’t doing more to make them happen? It might be time to change the way you communicate.

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Warning to big thinkers: This post may induce boredom, distraction and denial. Read it anyway.

I recently spoke to a group of entrepreneurs about internal communications. I focused on how leaders should develop an internal communications plan to get employees behind their vision.

I deliver this topic every year, and routinely coach CEOs around it. I can predict with certainty the reaction. First, I see head nods in acknowledgement. Then there’s an exchange with some combination of avoidance, denial, excuses and assurances that it’s “taken care of.”

I get it. If you want to bring a big picture thinker down, just mention the words “plan” or “process.” Coming up with the vision is the fun part, but communicating it often feels like the opposite. It seems boring, and who wants boring when there’s so much creative thinking to do?

Internal communications is the primary place where great ideas fall short. As leaders we want to dream big, announce our dream, and then get to work. The problem is that the rest of the company doesn’t operate like that.

If you have a big idea you want to initiate, here’s how you can build a plan to ensure success:

1. Launch your vision in person

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