Spoke with a friend the other day who's having trouble communicating up. CEO is all over the map, communication is scarce, and the mandate is REVENUE, REVENUE, REVENUE!
She asked my advice and I said that maybe the CEO isn't listening to her because what she says isn't useful. After that settled her down a bit, I suggested she literally record every single piece of feedback that comes from the market through her sales reps. She barked, "but that's micromanagement and unproductive".
But it's not. I asked her to consider that she has to create a tool that allows her to truly "read" the market...a protocol that allows her to see trends and make observations that can be useful to the CEO. What really grabbed her was when she admitted she's moving so incredibly fast that she probably misses key data that can be helpful to her, the CEO and the org. Not to mention her peeps.
The routine is very simple, but it takes dedication: at the end of every day, turn off the world and write a substantive report about all customer interactions that day. Of course it means interviewing all reps for their experiences, but once the data can be recorded, then it can be viewed, analyzed, and considered.
She sighed heavily acknowledging this would mean a lot of work for her, until I suggested she think about what else would be more important at this time when the CEO isn't listening? She agreed. She's trying it for two weeks, then will write a report on what her observations are. I'm betting she finds things she was missing and is able to drive more intelligence into the org.