Motown legend Marvin Gaye scored his first No. 1 hit with the song, “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” back in 1968. The title of that song has lessons for business communications that are relevant today.
“I heard it through the grapevine” is a common phrase – in fact, hearing it on the streets of Chicago in the mid-’60s inspired the writer of that Motown hit. Every organization has a “grapevine,” an informal and often twisty channel on which information flows. When we hear things through the grapevine, we mean that we didn’t hear it directly from the source.