Weâ€™ve all been there. Youâ€™ve got a great idea that you wish you could find a way to share with the appropriate team at your company. Youâ€™re not able to, because youâ€™re not part of that team. Or that department. Heck, itâ€™s not even a field youâ€™ve specialized in or worked in much, but youâ€™ve got that idea â€“ a good one â€“ and youâ€™re sure that itâ€™ll help in some way.
How do you share that idea? How do you get a chance to talk to folks on that team or present that idea without someone saying â€œgee thatâ€™s greatâ€ and then ignoring it because you work in another part of the company? How do you make your voice heard?
Unfortunately this is all too common in corporations today because of various institutionalized barriers. Different departments, protective fiefdoms, overzealous paperwork, and draconian process and procedures. These all contribute to the problem we have today of large, slow, companies that make incremental improvements rather than large bold ones.
Cut Out The Middle Man
This is where cutting through the organization from another angle is beneficial, and while itâ€™s not a new idea, its facilitated by social media tools. Call them â€œEnterprise 2.0â€ or some other Gartner approved term if it helps you out, but itâ€™s all web 2.0 tools and with social interactivity built into the technology.
These new tools foster that important cross-organization conversations that help promote sharing the institutional knowledge that is part of each employee. Allowing them to forge new relationships and new communities within the organization.
This lets people â€“ the most important resource of any organization â€“ to feel more welcome to share and trade ideas, just like sharing anecdotes and stories. The workplace becomes less rigid in itâ€™s communication allowing everyone from the bottom up, or the top down, to be more receptive to comments, ideas, questions, and suggestions coming from other parts of the organization.
Getting to that point is a lot of work, and simply making the executive decision to try something new is a large step in the right direction. That first step is a doozy though, because its all about trust. Not just trust in a new CFO, or in a Director of â€œThis Or Thatâ€. Its trusting every employee at every level. Trusting that theyâ€™ll do the right thing. Trusting all those intelligent folks that were hired to do those jobs in the first place.
Thatâ€™s the first stepâ€¦ the next is almost as hard. Accepting feedback. But thatâ€™s another post.
Photo credit: Jerry Vo