I've had many conversations in the past few weeks with people who lead teams in the field - ranging from police chiefs to construction managers and those who run facilities on college campuses and hospitals. When I ask them about how they communicate with their teams, nearly all of them have said pretty much the same thing "we can always use better internal communications.”
What's fascinating is that we're living in a time in which we've never been able to communicate more easily with each other! What I’ve observed is the actual problem they are pointing out is that their teams are using a combination of communication tools -- from walkie-talkie radios, to Slack, Text Messages, Email and phone calls on their mobile phones -- and they are using each of these methods indiscriminately, layered on top of each other. What results from this intermingling of systems is confusion, duplicated work, inefficiency, and things falling through the cracks.
Thus the real problem is that we have TOO MANY ways to communicate. Rather than needing a better way to communicate -- what we really need is a streamlined way to communicate.
Let’s step back and look at what changes when you’re working away from a desk, in the field. You go from eyes on the screen to “eyes forward” and your easiest way to communicate is by voice. Others you work with, however, may be working in text mode -- or they are managing a few simultaneous teams and are juggling listening to (or carrying with them) three radios. They simply can’t listen to that many channels at once.
This intermingling between voice communication and text communication creates a fundamental problem. If these two communication worlds (voice and text) are disconnected, there’s a real barrier to efficient work.
We took a long hard look at this and came up with an innovative approach -- by creating a technology platform (www.alo.ai) that using artificial intelligence to combine all of the ways that people communicate with each other into a single app. Our approach melds these two methods of communication described above by transcribing what is said by voice into text, so that text based workers see everything that’s being spoken. And conversely, text workers can text a response, and AI speech technology enables the app “speak” what’s been typed in text.
Suddenly the barriers between text and voice are removed -- and everyone can work collaboratively together.
In a world with too many ways of communicating, it's not that you need better communications -- it's that you need a single platform that combines all your communications into one. If you’d like to learn more about what we’re doing take a look at ĀLO.