In today’s episode, we go over communication lessons from the story of the Tower of Babel. This is the ultimate lesson in dealing with the complexity of coordinating, collaborating and communicating with others!
Ever meet someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you? What about someone who speaks the same language as you, but you still don’t get them (e.g. husband and wife)?
This is what is touched upon in the biblical story of the Tower of Babel.
If you’re not familiar with the story, here’s a little snippet from Wikipedia…
The Tower of Babel is an etiological myth in the Book of Genesis of the Tanakh (also referred to as the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament) meant to explain the origin of different languages. According to the story, a united humanity of the generations following theGreat Flood, speaking a single language and migrating from the east, came to the land of Shinar. There they agreed to build a city and tower; seeing this, God confounded their speech so that they could no longer understand each other and scattered them around the world.
- Tell the story of Babel (preferably by a chief executive)
- Crowdsource your solution
- Set the most popular choice as your base set for x period of time
- Create a single page on your wiki or in-house forums with a list of all the tools, which department/team(s) it relates to, and why it’s being used
- Create an onboarding process with your HR team to “initiate” everyone on all the tools. Do NOT skip this step.
- Keep the organisation in constant contact about the changes taking place, and why (over 3-6 months)
- Ensure appropriate rewards and consequences for people who adhere to the change (look at Zappos as a case study)
- Roll out the tools
The Tower of Babel is an interesting story, but hopefully you can see the correlation between it and communication issues within growing teams or organisations (as highlighted in the episode).
Remember always: patience, persistence and momentum!
Enjoy the show.
PS. Thanks again to our video partners Cloakroom Media for the video work!
Know of any other stories that highlight similar lessons? Would love to hear from you! Comment below.