Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category

Schedule an Event

Problem:

There’s nothing happening in your organization.  No excitement.  No momentum.  No forward progress.  No innovation or remarkable things to talk about.

Solution:

Schedule an event.  Sure, everyone’s busy doing their work.  Stuff is getting done and you’re delivering product to customers.

But if you don’t have events, it just doesn’t feel like anything is happening.  In a large corporation, sometimes you feel like you’re in your own little corner and disconnected with the big picture.  And maybe you are.

So having an event, a unique, out of the ordinary, one time event that gathers people together and gives them something to talk about, will create momentum.  Even if the event doesn’t turn out that well, or not very many people show up, the fact that you had an event means that something is happening in your area.  You are connecting people.

All your advertising to all those people who saw your announcement (even if they decided not to attend for whatever reason) created a perception in a lot of minds that something is happening and that they are missing out.  This perception or awareness has value in and of itself.  It signifies action.  It means a gathering is taking place.  And it reaches a larger audience than those who just show up.

And when people gather, things can happen.  Connections are made.  Relationships strengthened. Plans are developed.

It hardly even matters what the event is about.  Schedule an event.  You’ll make progress in more ways than you can tell.

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Create a New Organization

Problem:

You’d like to collaborate more with other employees, but your corporate organization silos keep you from breaking out of your usual circle of interactions.

Solution:

Ignore the silos and create a new organization.

Organizations consist of two elements: 1) a purpose 2) people committed to accomplishing that purpose.

So, in order to create a new organization, the first thing you need to do is figure out what purpose you want to collaborate with others about.  Then, all you need to do is post your purpose in a place where people will see it, or where those who you think might be interested in that purpose will see it.

That might mean an  internal blog, or a web site, or even an email distribution list.  It could even be putting up flyers for a meeting in a certain conference room.

Then when people show up, connect.  It doesn’t matter how many.  If you get 3 people, that’s enough to start something.

And you don’t need permission from your boss or current organization.  People get together all the time to talk about what interests them, vacations, little league baseball, hot rods, etc. Your purpose just might have a little more meaning.

When you gather people around a subject, you’ve created a new organization.  You can connect, collaborate, and possibly make a difference (depending on your purpose.)  What ever organization they currently work in becomes irrelevant.  The silos disappear.

It’s almost too easy.

Stay Connected, Over Time

Problem:

You develop really close relationships with the people you work side by side with, then an opportunity comes along, or a reorganization, or for some reason you or they move to a different group and you never see them anymore.

Solution:

If you’ve developed a good friendship, it doesn’t take much effort to stay connected.  It could be months or even years later that you might run into them again and you would pick up right where you left off, it could be just like old times.  It’s always fun to see old friends.

What I’m suggesting is that you make an effort to make that happen, instead of it happening accidentally.

Every few months, or year, or whatever time period makes sense for your level of friendship, send your friends an email, or give them a phone call, or just show up at their desk and say “What’s up? How’s it going?  How’s the family?”  Maybe even take them out to lunch.

Reconnect and reminisce.  It’s so much fun, but it’s also very valuable and develops good grootship.  Not only will you find out about how they’re doing, but you’ll learn what’s happening in the old group, who’s doing what (did that one guy ever retire?), or how the company is working in that area.

This strengthens your connection, so in the future, if you ever need some information or help from that part of the company, you can just call up your friend and say “Do you know about…?”

This is easy, immediate, and free information or access that happens so much faster than filling out some form, or following a process, or calling a bunch of different people to find the right person you need.

Trusted networks are powerful.  It’s how things can get done fast in a large company.  So strengthen your network by staying connected, over long time periods.  You never know when you might need someone’s help, or when you might be able to help someone else.

Besides, it’s fun.