I NEED YOU... to explicitly share work practice

 

 
Constellation Research Group's Connected Enterprise 2011 conference was a perfect place to recruit. While I'm sure some of the CEOs, CIOs, and consultants were subtly recruiting for new employees, I was recruiting for evangelists. The #CCE2011 (as we tagged our posts and tweets) crowd was full of people with great experience in tightly and effectively tying together work strategies and practices. In my presentation I emphasized that theirs is a rare skill. Their education and experience has brought them to a place where work is a symphony of aligning tools and practices for a particular work need. With this skill comes a responsibility -- the responsibility to evangelize their approach. As a reader of this blog, you are likely similar in interest and background to the CCE2011 participants. Thus, I hope you also heed my "I Need You" call.

I NEED YOU

Our organizations are struggling in tight times. We have to make do with less and any acquisitions must be used to full effect. If we align our people, technology, and process we have opportunities for synergy and are less likely to work at cross purposes. It's also the case that the more those around us understand our approach, the more likely they are to fluidly step in with assistance and to challenge us to do better in an efficient, versus distracting, way.

Imagine the music produced by a jazz band (jazz improv has a history as organizational metaphor) that has played together and one who has not. Not knowing who knows what, who needs what information, and how to coordinate increases the effort to get the work done and is less likely to result in a magical moment.

Certainly we can wait and see if our teammates, colleagues, and subordinates develop these skills on their own. Learning by doing is a powerful technique. But that is a lost opportunity if learning opportunities are not abundant or if time or resources are tight. Instead, I ask you -- yes, you -- to prepare a foundation for more effective learning by mentoring, or better yet, sponsoring someone close to you in that you risk a bit of yourself as you support this person. (I’m using Nilofer Merchant’s ideas around sponsorship here.)

What one thing can you do this week to share your capability to create a symphony of work with one other person? Can you give someone else the chance to do a piece work in a way that you can then use the outcome as the source of an after action review (AAR) that supports their learning?

The participants of Constellation Research Group's Connected Enterprise 2011 conference were wonderful sponsors of one another’s ideas in Scottsdale. I hope we can continue this practice virtually -- and extend it to those around us at home.

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