The Four Features

Small companies are adept at using four features to accelerate their results: scale, structure, participation, and focus. Those same four features are what define a conversation in that setting. By applying these four features through conversation, large companies can move as quickly as smaller ones.

Scale relates to the number of people in a conversation, which typically involves just a few people at a time.

Structure incorporates the proximity of people being close together physically (even if it’s virtual) and an inviting atmosphere where people are open to share key insights and data.

Participation in a small company means that fewer formal dividing lines exist, and a wide range of employees can be involved in the same projects.

Focus refers to all employees being aware of and staying committed to the priorities that have been defined.

The authors of Talk, Inc. How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power Their Organizations, agree that, “Through conversation […] a big or growing organization can retain or recapture much of the nimbleness, the cohesiveness, and the raw, productive energy of a well-oiled small company.”