Collaboration in small ponds

Collaboration – Breaking the Pyramids

One of the roles I quietly took on in 2015 was that of the APAC Social Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing Lead. You can now find some details of the role on my LinkedIn profile which I’ve updated as part of the concepts taught in the Coursera Influencing People class – building authority through symbols.

The class was interesting and has made me re-think some of the ways in which we are pushing collaboration and how we could use it more successfully. Even simple ideas can lead to success in the long run. For example tomorrow I’m going to start listing all my titles in my email signature. Why? The idea is that by showing you have a lot of responsibility and authority the more people will be influenced by you. I’m expecting this will work across the roles that I’m fulfilling at the moment in ECM Project Management, ECM Pre-sales and Solutions and the APAC Social Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing Lead roles. Their power combined is greater than the sum of their parts.

I recently finished reading The Accidental Salesperson by Chris Lytle and found it a wonderful read confirming a lot of my thoughts about the sales people we’ve had (and that they weren’t very good.) It was also good for building some great tools for influencing people – selling and influencing are pretty similar when it comes down to it. One of the key take away’s for me is that it’s much easier to sell if everyone agree’s on the problem.

bluekiwi - an Atos company
bluekiwi – an Atos company

So coming back to influencing with regards to social collaboration – where I have zero legitimate power to make people use the tools – is that we really need to sell the problem before we guide people towards a solution. This part of what we’ve been doing as a group (or at least as far as APAC is concerned) has really gone too fast for many people. We’re now taking them towards a solution for a problem that they don’t think they have. And guess what the response to that is? Yep – massive push back.

So bring on 2016 – the year of selling problems (that I have solutions to), the year of collaboration, and the year of breaking down corporate pyramids through creating lots of big fish in little ponds. The bosses aren’t going to like this one!

Goals achieved today: Exercise more – walked up the stairs, and did some weights. Blog more – this one!

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