We’ve all served on committees where a few diligent people did most of the work. Or gotten stuck in a boring meeting, where some just yakked and yakked. No agenda. No incentives to work smart. Time drags. You could get it done faster and better on your own.
Collaboration is only as strong as the weakest link. As a former journalist, I was accustomed to mostly working alone. No excuses. No “crowd” of other reporters to explore how we’d write the story – and meet the deadline and beat the competition. So, as a speaker, I was startled to work with so many companies and associations where things, well, took much longer. Those who did not do their assignment weren’t lambasted. Consequently, for a long time, my instinct was to duck serving on boards, avoid volunteering for committees or accepting invitations to be part of business start-up teams. But that’s changed. I am now an advocate of collaborating – in smart ways. Got so fervent on the power of partnering that I wrote a couple of books about it.
I realized that, with the right Rules of Engagement, where people are motivated to contribute their best effort, everyone can win. More opportunities appear. Sometimes friendships happen. When we are working from our brighter sides together then we tend to become ever happier and higher-performing.
The secret seems to be two-fold. Creating the right method to
1. attract the best of “us” (the right mix of people in the best roles) for a task ….
2. to contribute the best side of “us” (talent, temperament, experience, etc.)
Don’t let group participation be a wearisome bother but a benefit for all.
Following up on yesterday’s post about Crowd Wisdom (avoid the Crowd Stupidity experience), here’s three more sites that involve advocacy and polling. Set up a poll. Offer your opinion. See what others think. Then use the results to be quoted on the topic by the media, improve your product or mix of services that for firm or not-for-profit provides.
1. Tribyounal: From child custody to copyright, you can post a question on a social or business issue, share evidence and create a poll for the crowd to contribute more information and then vote on the question. My thought here: when you ask the right question, the poll results can provide a news hook for the media to interview you.
Suppose, for example, that you work for a child advocacy group. You might submit the question, “Should TV shows that involve violence be shown before 9:00pm? The poll result and the kinds of evidence contributed by both sides are grist for a human interest story for newspapers, radio talk shows and mommy bloggers.