What Happens When Your Business Lacked Internal Communication

Nicole Sudjono
4 min readMar 30, 2019
Photo by Manmohan Singh on Unsplash

In teamwork, communications are very important to have high performance. Just like a business. If you ignore this piece, you may as well end up like Sony.

No matter how much Sony is doing a good job in the entertainment industry today, it is actually struggling to keep their business performance up.

Sony has been struggling for a while to the point that most of their stores in Canada closed down. There are some that are still standing, but they are located near the US. They have been in a disadvantage in nearly every industries and the only industry that kept them stand alive today is when Sony decided to distribute insurance.

Canada was the first country that Sony chose to expand to. They had a connection to export their products there.

To start, after WWII, Sony was successful with its semiconductor radios. It was a simple radio that tunes in the podcast just like modern radios.

This impressed Canada that they helped Sony export there (Sony Global 2017). One of their competitive advantage at first was the TR-55 because it was a qualitative product and everyone can use it (ColdFusion 2017). Over time, Sony created more technological products that made them an innovative reputation.

But what made them to underperform in time? Here is the biggest problem of Sony:

Bad Communications

This is one of the biggest core that causes a whole of trouble. John Izzo said that Sony had: the rights to music and videos, the presence of retail, good reputation, loyal consumers, and innovative technologies. But the internal company was very silent that they missed the crucial innovation of this era.

When there is not enough communication between teams, it is hard to be as creative as you think. Because you don’t get any feedback with your work. All you do is work, work, work and no suggestions from anyone. It’s like taking a test with no one grading it. You are not getting any new ideas.

With a lack of communication, strategies became unclear and employees lacked focus. As the result, they cannot be as innovative as they used to be. This became an advantage for competitors that they caught up with Sony.

Sony lost against Apple and Samsung for the mobile industry, lost against Samsung and LG for the TV industry, and lost against Canon and Nikon for the Camera industry (Narayan 2015). This means for a long period of time, they have not been innovative and lost their competitive advantages for each industry.

They also could not protect their own network when there was a security breach. Even before that Sony PlayStation network was attacked by hackers, exposing PSN personal accounts and servers were down for a long time (Quinn and Arthur 2011). These events created a bad reputation for Sony and they suffered a lot of loss until finance became a huge problem, especially when they are known to prioritize quality. These major problems led to their shut down.

There may be other reasons why Sony Canada failed, but the biggest mistake was the lack of communication. This is a big no, especially for an innovation company. Great do just come from inside one’s mind, they are also inspired and obtained from others.

If Sony hopes to perform better and keep up with the market, they are going to have to fix the internal communications.

So what can you do?

Although it seems obvious to strengthen communication, how do you do that once the business grows?

As a business owner, you should be a leader. A leader is someone who is willing to listen to everyone. When this happens, your followers will know that they are heard and valued. And when people feel valued, they are motivated to work on something for a greater purpose.

Being a leader is tough. You will be misjudged and must put extra work for everyone. Even worse, everyone will think you are crazy. But that is one of the risk to see a vision that you want to see. To make something come true, you must know who are the people you want to serve and why. No matter what, as leaders, we must put extra effort for the sake of success.

When I was in college, since I was involuntarily elected as a leader, I had to do something for the group that we were assigned to. I’m not bragging here, but I want to tell you that speaking up first will help develop yourself. For me, it helped me to listen to people because, in the past, I was bad at that. That time, it was a few days before the presentation, and still, no one spoke up in the Line group.

So I had to assign everything to them. This was the part where they called me crazy because I was willing to read people’s essays before compiling them.

I did it because no one wanted to speak up about our paper assignment. So I had to do something.

So I made a strict rule, whether they liked it or not. I set a deadline, gave specific rules that they better not plagiarize, and if I know anyone is not doing their job, I was willing to kick them out. I didn’t care if they will hate me or not, but I want to finish college no matter what.

Long story short, it was worth the action. We passed our paper assignments and presentations.

If you are a student, a spark of entrepreneurship can start here because you initiate the move first. You spoke up first to strengthen communications. Just like any hangouts. You can strengthen a bond because you initiated a hangout first. When you do that, people will remember you as a leader because you set the event.

So don’t be shy to speak up. Think of this as an action of networking.