In a review of the efficacy of briefing groups in organisations, a journalist uncovered a number of problems:
1. The information was constantly changing.
2. The recipients of the information often failed to see its relevance.
3. The managers responsible for disseminating it did so with differing levels of enthusiasm.
In the interests of balance, the journalist invited a consultant experienced in briefing groups to comment. Essentially, the consultant’s view was that the organisations weren’t carrying out their briefings well enough and that they should try harder.
The consultant’s view was typically rational. If we try harder, they’ll listen. But do workers want to be briefed on what top management want to tell them?
Top-down briefings are based on the idea that people should do their jobs the way they are told. As Deming put it: ‘Pleasant dreams’.