The Most Important Listening Post Is The One At The Top

Rebellion happens when people do not believe they are being heard.  Sometimes it leads to revolution.

It’s easy to pick out the events of the last decade that changed the world.  Not just due to the events themselves but to the changes that were required because of them. The biggest?  9/11. Katrina. Lehman Brothers closing.

Lehman’s failure and 9/11 were caused directly by organizations.  Katrina was a force of nature but New Orleans could have been more levee prepared and the aftermath better managed by the organizations in charge.

It’s human nature not to change when we’re comfortable.  And boy do we like to be comfortable!  Regrettably one person’s comfort is another’s denial.  How often have you heard “I saw it coming but nobody above me wanted to know.”  I’ve heard it and in a few very unfortunate situations I was the one who didn’t want to know.

Social media experts counsel their clients to put listening posts in several places online.  Listen to customers.  Listen to competitors. Listen to suppliers. It’s great advice!

Here’s the thing.  Listening has to start at the top. And it has to be okay for the other listeners to bring uncomfortable information.  Unless you’re looking for a rebellion, or worse a revolution, it really the only way.

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