Let’s be really honest. Nobody really wants news that makes you uncomfortable. It is certainly much easier to shoot the messenger than to deal with facts that will challenge your comfort zone. It’s always been a danger in management that one loses touch with the front line work force, customers, the competition and the market in general because the information coming to you has long ago disconnected from those sources. Now more than ever it is important to watch out for the echo chamber!
Over time, it gets easier and easier to just keep doing what you’ve been doing. It becomes an expectation of senior staff to support the status quo or that success and rewards to those who do not challenge the boss.
Social media makes it even harder to view a wider market or to find a market outside the one you currently have. The very algorithms that drive social media, mean that you will hear from an increasingly siloed and homogenous audience. Your communications can become nothing more than an echo chamber. You are only hearing from those you already have recruited to your business. And that means you are in the Echo Chamber.
Vital decisions, therefore, can be made on a sliver of information. Crucial resources can be deployed based on an experience that does not reflect your actual market. Your business fails to grow as your chamber becomes smaller.
With a clear need to plan efficiently right now for a post-COVID-19 emergence while staying afloat for the last several months of the pandemic, it is critical that managers make specific efforts to see beyond your traditional information feeds and to put the echo chamber to the side while you examine the market beyond it.
Aside from the obvious need to coax your staff into brutal honesty, it is also a time to change up your Social Media and Website algorithms to begin to hear the voices of the people with whom you are not normally interacting. It means changing lots of internal keywords and communications documents in order to begin to be seen by a wider audience. It means deliberately engaging with people who have not been in your circles, accepting that you may not find them as comfortable as your smaller circle.