An osmotic event is a failure or breakdown in communication that could have led to issues but was averted by pure accident or coincidence. It occurs when a company either lacks a plan for handling certain communication, the plan is not followed, or the plan is inadequate. (What is Osmotic Communication?, Osmotic Communication: Flawed Communication Practices)
Reduce Osmotic Events
To reduce osmotic events the first thing needed is a plan for proactive and purposeful communication.
- Create a proactive communication plan
- Train and enforce the communication plan
- Improve the information radiators
- Identify osmotic events and work to improve
Handling Osmotic Events
An occurrence of an osmotic event should be looked at and examined. It should become a part of continuous improvement practices.
- Identify what could have happened if the information wasn’t accidentally obtained or overheard
- It could be a minor issue, but it could expose the potential for a much larger problem if it is not corrected
- Determine the cause of the event – whether it be a lack of a plan, inadequate plan, or failure to follow the plan
- This is not for the purposes of blaming someone, it could have been a simple oversight or someone was not made aware oft he communication plans
- Correct the flawed area by creating or improving the plan or by reinforcing the plan
- Communication training, clearer identification of who is to be notified and when they should be notified are possible solutions
Osmotic events will happen. They need to be controlled and reduced as much as possible. When you rely on random luck, it is only a matter of time when luck will not be on your side and the people that need to know will not know and bad things could happen.