Posts Tagged ‘tools’

You Already Have What You Need to Build a Community

Problem:

My company doesn’t have a good internal tool for social networking so I can’t really build an internal community or a following.

Solution:

Actually, you do.

Back in the olden days people used to get to know each other by sending messages with an ingenious invention called electronic mail.  And although it may be clunky and inefficient, some people still use it today.

There’s even an older method that you might have heard stories about, where people actually meet together in person, where they can see each other’s physical bodies.

I would venture to guess that your company still has these ancient options available.

So, whatever way you can get to know another person, you have a way to build a community.  Email allows you to send messages to all of them at once, so they all have a subject to talk about, or you can connect with one person at a time, building your relationship with that person.  And if you can get everyone in the same room, you can have a shared experience to talk about.

New tools are nice. But if you want to build and lead a community that can make things happen, the only thing holding you back is your desire.

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Share Tools

Problem:

Everyone has their own way of doing things and usually has a simple little tool, checklist, program or method that they use that most people don’t know about.

Solution:

Share your tool with others.  Maybe only engineers do this, but if I broaden the definition of a ‘tool’ to mean any tactic or method you use to stay organized or get things done, then I think that could apply to almost anyone.  Engineers are famous for creating little Excel programs or otherwise to help organize data or automate a process, but they usually don’t think it’s polished enough to share with others, or that others won’t understand it, or it will take too much work to fix it for public consumption so they just kind of keep it to themselves.

I think non-engineer types do the same thing with the little tools they use.  So what happens is that all these great time-saver tools, methods or techniques don’t get maximum leverage by being used by many people, and a whole lot of duplication goes on by people creating their own thing instead of using what’s already out there because they don’t even know about it.

Now you don’t have to be a braggert about it or a pushy salesman, you just have to say here is something that works for me, maybe it’ll work for you too.  There are multiple ways to share.  I would start with your own local group and then branch out from there to people who you think might be interested. 

Don’t try to sell it to the big boss and make it the standard that everyone has to use.  You’ll gain a lot more credibility if it’s something that gets spread around because everyone wants to use it, not because it was forced on them by management.  It makes a difference how an idea is presented or where it came from.

So share your stuff.  Maybe you put it all on a web site, blog, wiki, SharePoint, server, or other location, but make it easy to find and spread, and you’ll be helping out a lot more people, and maybe even the company.

What’s your tool?