Posts Tagged ‘events’

Connect the Peeps

Problem:

People work in silos.  They don’t communicate, except by filling out forms and following the process for transferring information.  Everything takes too long to get done because the processes cause information to get stuck at various stages.

Solution:

Start a connecting or networking effort where everyone knows everyone else by their first name.  Processes are established in large corporations so that things are consistent, repeatable, and with a recognized level of quality.  Yes, they are necessary, but because they work so well for large, complicated systems, we think they’ll work for everything.  But at a more local level, they actually cause communication problems and slow the flow of information.

We all know that relationships of trust help information flow easily and freely and fast (see Stephen M. R. Covey’s Speed of Trust), so why not base the processing of information on those?

I think there is a flawed foundational assumption that fuels most of our desire for forms and processes.  And that is the limit of how many people someone can know.

Think about how many people you know.  I’ll bet it’s a lot over the years.  But now, due to the ease of connecting with people on the internet, everyone ‘knows’ a lot more people.  I’m really curious what kind of numbers the really popular bloggers are pushing, like Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Brogan, or Seth Godin.  Of course there are all kinds of levels of ‘know’, but I’ll bet these guys are pushing in the thousands on a first name basis.

And I’ll bet you could know at least a few hundred or more.

So let’s just do it.  Start organizing lunchtime events where people get together at small tables and meet a few people.  They should also have some kind of task to work on together, like helping someone with a problem, or brainstorming ideas for improvements.  Leave it completely open and unstructured and allow people to connect.

Start having these once a week and people will really get to know each other.  Also make sure that the invitation is extended at a larger level so that people who show up will be from varying organizations.  This causes cross pollination and diverse networking.  Their organizations may or may not be related or coordinate with each other, but you never know when you might need to know someone in ____ organization.

When everyone starts really ‘knowing’ more people and have built relationships of trust, things will start to happen a lot faster and more smoothly.  (And you might not even have to fill out that tedious form.)

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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.