Three Business Communication Lessons from Cool Runnings

With the 2014 Winter Olympics just a few weeks away, one of the biggest feel-good stories to emerge has been the fundraising efforts of the Jamaican bobsled team. Needing thousands of dollars to make it to Russia, people from all around the world have pledged funds and support to help the Jamaicans compete at Sochi.

Of course, this news makes me think of the classic Disney movie "Cool Runnings." For those of you unfamiliar with the film, it chronicles the efforts of the first ever Jamaican bobsled team and all of the effort and trials they had to endure to make it into the Winter Olympics.

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Not only should you watch that movie to feel good and prepare for this year's Winter Olympics, but you might want to view it again to get some lessons on how to improve your business communication strategy. The film is about a ragtag bobsled team, but it offers some important tips for any organization to heed.

1) Always make sure everyone is on the same page
Perhaps the most famous line from the movie is "Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time! Cool Runnings!" If you recall, this line is uttered as a way to get everyone on the same page and working cohesively as one singular unit. The Jamaican bobsled team understood the importance of teamwork and collaboration, and so should your business. With a quality VoIP phone system in place, everyone within a business can always be in touch and ensure that all efforts are coordinated properly.

2) No two businesses are the same
One of the biggest elements of the latter half of "Cool Runnings" focuses on the more freewheeling style of the Jamaicans versus the calculated efficiency of the Swiss bobsled team. As the film goes on, viewers realize what propels the Swiss team is very different than the approach the Jamaicans utilize to succeed. Similarly, every business needs to take a unique approach to its business telephone communication program to make sure that it what it has in place is ideal for meeting its distinct needs. For example, let's say a competitor of yours has an on-premises office phone system in place and has reaped many rewards from this setup. Still, despite this, your company may be better off with a cloud-based business phone system. Even firms operating within the same geography and industry have radically different needs, and your business cannot trust that something that works for a competitor will work for you.

3) Be willing to challenge the status quo
The idea of a warm weather country like Jamaica fielding a bobsled team first seemed laughable. But in "Cool Runnings," the team eventually proved that they most assuredly belong in the Winter Olympics and successfully challenged the status quo. When it comes to business telephone communication, your company may have to do the same thing. Just because communication and collaboration have always been done one way does not mean that it is the best approach for you. By being willing to break new ground and challenge established communication norms, your organization may be able to establish itself as a leader in the industry and head and shoulders above the competition.

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