Who Knows What?
In the face of significant change, our instinct is often to communicate our stance, adapt and persuade, guide and lead, shift and cajole, manage and lead so that others are in alignment with that perspective.
Before doing so, it’s important to first take a step back, and ask yourself, “Who knows what?” and ”How does what they know influence their perspectives and positions?”
In addition, it’s helpful to explore what the organization knows, and what the org would like you and others to know.
In other words, the world can be seen through three lenses: the ‘I’ lens, your personal perspective, the ‘U’ lens, through someone else’s perspective, and the ‘O’ lens, the organization’s perspective. Examining the intersections between these lenses can help you strategize the optimal path toward a middle ground where the org, yourself and others are most in alignment about what is known.
What do we all need to know? Start with what needs to be known.
This is the ideal state where all are in alignment. In the chart above, it’s marked with a star.
What don’t you, others and the org know and should be relevant? Next understand what yourself, others and the organization DON’T know and why it might be relevant.
In the chart above, this information is *outside* the ‘I know’, ‘You know’, ‘Org knows’ circles. Most of the time, it’s irrelevant if you, others and the organization don’t know something, but every once in a while, it’s a bonus if there’s something unknown to all three which would be helpful to all three!
Start with What You Know. It’s easiest to start with knowing what you know, represented on the bottom left of the diagram above, but being curious about what others and the organization know and *don’t* know. This means being forthcoming and transparent about what you know while being curious and open-minded about what they know.
Time to Tell Others and Org. When you know but neither others nor the org know, explaining what you know would be enlightening to others and the organization!
Time to Tell Org. When you know and others know, but the organization doesn’t know, it’s time to fill in the blanks and inform the organization!
Time to Tell Others. When you know and the organization knows, but others don’t know, it’s time to inform others and get them in the loop, unless they are intentionally left out of it!
Move on to What You Don’t Know.
Find out what the Org Knows. Look next to what the organization knows, but you and others don’t know. Why don’t you and others know? If it’s an oversight and unintentional, what’s the easiest fix? How could you others be better informed, more engaged and more strategic if they were more in the know?
Find out what the Org and Others Know, but you don’t know. If you don’t know, but others know and the organization knows, figure out why this is the case. If it’s an oversight and unintentional, what’s the easiest fix?
It’s a journey to get to an alignment between yourself, others and organization on what to know and who knows. It takes patience, transparency, open-mindedness and trust, but it will reap rewards in return.