The Four I’s of High Engagement Teams Pt. 2: Inform

My previous post about Inspiration kicked off my series on The Four I’s; the most useful leadership advice I’ve received so far in my career. But inspired people alone cannot assure the success of the mission. You have to set up and maintain an operating environment for your people to succeed, and the next three I’s are essential to creating such an environment. The second I, Inform, is about the communication aspects of the environment.

Indeed, informing people means briefing the team about the job to be done, but it does not end there. Setting up an informed and engaged team means having them inform each other and you the leader as the situations, questions, and decisions change. This is often easier said than done. Organizational hierarchies and rank naturally create barriers to communication. Team members working together for the first time may not have a bond or trust. Individuals may not know or feel empowered. But to reach high engagement, information must flow. A leader must break down silos to communicate and establish a team culture of empowerment and interdependence.

By inspiring people and setting up an environment of trust, empowerment, and information, you the leader have set up half the elements for a highly engaged team culture.