The Covert Cost of Poor Communication: A Business Wake-Up Call

Daniel Burrus
5 min readSep 21, 2023

We have all heard that the key to becoming a successful business is effective communication and collaboration, but do we really know what that means? Unfortunately for many business leaders, they believe they do. But the reality is they actually struggle with the concept.

Back in 2013, the CEO of Yahoo! announced via memo that employees would no longer be able to work remotely and must come back into the office from Monday through Friday. Revoking the remote environment was done under the assumption that getting employees back in the office would increase collaboration and company culture.

However, the plan backfired. Instead of it boosting morale, employees felt pressure to either quit if they wanted to continue working remotely or relocate if they wanted to keep their job. As a result, the entire company suffered due to its leadership’s poor communication technique.

The thing about communication and collaboration is that they are closely intertwined — you cannot have one without the other. To build a stronger team and an overall stronger company, business leaders need to begin with fostering a culture of effective communication. Once you have communication, you are more likely to build the trust that allows collaboration to thrive.

Benefit from Communication

There are many challenges that affect efficient teamwork: the absence of team identity, inability to resolve conflicts, lack of participation, lack of creativity, difficulty making decisions, and the unwillingness or inability to consider alternative ideas or approaches. When you break these challenges down to their building blocks, they all tend to stem from one core weakness: the inability to communicate and do so effectively.

Communicating involves far more than just informing others. This is a concept that many business leaders tend to misunderstand. To inform is to be static, where information is passed along from one person to another without much interaction. It is a one-way conversation.

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Daniel Burrus

#1 Bestselling Author, Global Futurist, Innovation Expert and Keynote Speaker. One of the World’s Leading Futurists on Global Trends and Innovation.