Company communication and growth are important topics when a company gains success and increases in size. Company founders need to understand that as the team grows, so does the amount of communication. Smaller companies have more one-on-one interactions which is ideal. A small company with limited communication is too top heavy, too small in size, or is not looking to grow and change. To explain my point, kindly look at the images below (please ignore my lack of creativity). The motivation for the following is from the book Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh. A must read if you are scaling your business or not.
Communication Within A Company
You can see above that there are three individuals and the communication lines are A-C, B-C, A-B. We have three individuals and three communication lines.
In the above case, we have four individuals and the communication lines are A-B, B-C, A-C, A-D, B-D, C-D. This leads to a total of six communication lines.
In this instance, there are five individuals and ten communication lines. For example, A-B, A-C, A-D, B-C, B-D, C-D, A-E, B-E, C-E, D-E.
How Company Communication and Growth Correlate
Using these representations, it is clear how critical communication is. The quality of messaging, timing and appropriate coverage of it has a huge impact on your business. Increasing your workforce by 50 percent may increase your communication lines by 150 percent.
Depending on the size of your company, you can easily calculate how many communication channels exist. You will learn the number of channels employees use and if there are leakages. You will know if some channels are being under-served and find compliance or privacy challenges that need to be looked into.
Now coming back to the question, what is the relationship between growth and communication? The above illustrations show that as more people get added to the company, the communication channels expand in a disproportionate manner. Does growth mean an increase in manpower? In the majority of cases that could be a parameter.
Modern technology companies are created in such a way that they can scale with the least resistance. Growth does not equate with the headcount. Let’s examine two popular examples, WhatsApp and Instagram. The companies were bought by Facebook and had a limited number of people.
The business model revolved around technology scaling and was not related to manpower scaling. WhatsApp and Instagram are anomalies (no wonder they are worth billions!). The majority of the business required human capital and multiple lines of communication.
What is the future of communication?
With AI and ML being pegged as the biggest job destructors ever, how would it affect communication going forward? The trend has already begun with chatbots so this communication layer will be tested. There are automated workflows in the background which are at every stage of a buyer’s journey. There is still a long way to go and most of the biggest companies are still figuring out how to communicate internally.
If you would like to discuss how to improve your company’s internal communication via technology, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have worked extensively in this space and can probably add more than a couple of cents.