While on my way to researching something else online (one of the great aspects about search), I happened across a series of articles about what's known as "diagonal slice meetings."
These are meetings that include members of different teams and various levels in companies who come together on a periodic basis to discuss "how's it going." General Motors has conducted these meetings since at least '05, but don't let that influence how you view these multi-level meetings, designed to keep folks at the upper reaches in-touch with what's happening operationally, as well as bringing different departments together.
The whole idea of these meetings is to connect the various departments of a business together to better understand what is happening in both a micro and macro way. As many of us have discovered over the past few years in radio, the lack of interdepartmental communication, combined with corporate staffs not being in touch with local stations (and vice versa), has created a great deal of frustration.
We have sat through meetings where the corporate guys are frustrated because the folks on the ground at stations don't seem to understand the urgency of the company's financial pressures. And conversely, many station staffers are convinced they have some of the answers, if only someone in the home office would take the time to listen to them.
The same seems to hold true at the station level. For a number of years now, we have urged stations to break down the departmental silos, and hold regular meetings – think "diagonal slice" – where sales, programming, promotion, and digital come together to compare notes, share opportunities, and help each other succeed.
In order to survive and prosper in this challenging environment, there's a lot to be said for walking a mile in the other guy's shoes. Or at least inviting her to a meeting and hearing her out.
Perhaps a way to better accomplish our goals in this environment is to move in a "diagonal" direction.
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