Another qualitative paper this week: Martin et al ponder soft intelligence in health services. This issue affects (afflicts?) every large organisation. How do those at the top find out what is going on at the bottom?
Personally I think there's no substitute for going around chatting to people. And in person, not by video link, telecon or anything else that gets in the way of picking up all the stuff that doesn't come out in formal meetings.
This used to be called MBWA - management by walking about. Sounds simple, surprisingly difficult to do as the diary gets crammed with meeting after meeting. Note also that this isn't just for managers: we all need to do it.