Organizational communication Leader-in-Residence webcast

On June 14, UBC Okanagan Library will host its annual Leader in Residence program for colleagues in the BC interior. The presentation will also be live streamed for those who cannot attend in person.


Keynote: Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying: why we talk so much about organizational communication but never seem to get it right

Gillian Byrne, Manager, Toronto Reference Library


Almost universally, studies have shown that those in leadership positions feel as though they spend an inordinate amount of time communicating down, while those in operational positions consistently report there isn’t sufficient communication. Assuming no bad actors (that leaders are trying as hard as they say they are and that the rest of the organization is receptive to communication), why the dichotomy? Focusing on libraries and using my experiences as a framing device, I’ll examine some of the structural issues that I believe reinforce the gaps and shortfalls in organizational communication, including the limitations of existing channels and formats and the lack of shared understanding and vocabularies. I’ll then suggest some strategies for improving information flow, such as being explicit about intent and the importance of embedding appropriate context into communication. And for my final trick, I’ll do all this while tackling the role organizational politics plays in communication with the laser focus and ferocity of an all-star NFL defensive end.

View the livestream


This presentation will also be archived and the link shared when it is available.


Note: the streaming presentation does not have chat functionality, but if you have questions, feel free to email them to or text them to 250-317-1289 during the presentation and/or question period.