Three Ways to Overcome Business Chaos

Face it. Life in general involves a lot of chaos. The same is true in business as well as our personal lives. Key to managing chaos is recognizing the causes.


A chief cause of chaos is poor or incomplete communication. Someone thinks another person said one thing and that other person thinks they said something else. This could result from poorly chosen words, incomplete communications, poor listening skills, interruptions, other priorities, personality conflicts, and a host of other things. One of the best ways to overcome business chaos and possibly avoid it is to make it a practice to complete the communication cycle. For example, imagine the company president is telling the V.P. of Sales what he wants to see accomplished in sales in the coming quarter. Unless he or she is specific this message may be rather fuzzy and vague. Saying he wants to see sales increase is really not specific enough to provide any guidance. Rather, saying his goal is to see sales increase 15% over the same period from the prior year is more specific. Of course, even more specifics help to clarify. It is important that the V.P. of Sales validate what he thought he heard. Then feedback should be provided as to whether this is or is not possible and what would be needed to make it happen. Through this back and forth process a clear understanding is developed to avoid ambiguity and the later chaos that occurs when people are not on the same page.

Ongoing Feedback

Okay, so expectations have been clearly communicated and validated and any misunderstandings clarified. Yet, as discussed in the blog Why You Should Keep a Flexible Business Plan, things usually do not go as planned. Because of this it is imperative that all parties involved continue to communicate as plans are executed. This way surprises are minimized and adjustments can be made in a timely manner. It avoids confrontations and anger that occur when results are reviewed and surprises are revealed for the first time. Ongoing feedback is an important way to overcome business chaos.

Downward Communication

Again, imagine that the company president and the V.P. of Sales have completed their communication for expectations and have arranged for regular updates to avoid surprises. However, if that communication stops with the V.P. of Sales and is not passed down to sales people, the communication still lacks an element of completion. The people who will be executing the plans need to know what is expected of them. Just as in the conversation between the president and V.P. of Sales, communications with the sales personnel also requires validation, feedback, and clarification to be complete. Likewise, ongoing feedback is needed here as well.

Does your business have in place practices to overcome business chaos when it occurs and hopefully avoid it altogether? Having this in place is also one of the best ways to minimize office politics.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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