23 Jan The Road to Riches
In the early 1800’s, John McAdams recognised that the roads in England were in terrible condition and caused major issues for transportation. He realised that if you raised the roads above the adjacent ground, covered first with rock and then stones and then bound with finer gravel, the road surface was vastly improved. This is where the word Tarmac comes from.
The idea took off and the result was better transportation between towns and cities. Which, importantly, led to economic growth by improving commerce, intelligence, products and services. McAdams didn’t set out to improve goods and services, but that’s exactly what happened.
Now consider your business colleagues in other departments, your team members and your external business partners as towns and cities. In this analogy, the roads are the way we communicate between partners, departments and individual colleagues.
How we communicate includes how we share; our generosity when it comes to knowledge and insight; our ability to be honest; our ability to make the other person feel heard. As George Bernard Shaw said, “the biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” It is very easy in our frenetic, digitally driven world to assume that communication has been achieved. For example, merely sending an email does not constitute true communication, unless it has been read and responded to by the receiver. Think how many emails you receive, now consider how many you genuinely read with the same attention and concentration you have when conversing with a person?
To thrive, businesses must continually work on their roads of communication. As technology changes, communication gets both easier and more impossible to achieve. To improve your products or services, you may need to focus first on how the business communicates, connects and interacts. You may find, like McAdam’s, that improving your roads of communication can lead to far greater riches.