October 9, 2011

Leadership Limerick: Make it Easy to Share

Every Monday, I offer a leadership limerick, highlighting an idea or strategy about effective leadership in limerick form. Searching for leadership limerick will identify previous posts.

Getting people to share can be tough
Our systems for doing so aren’t enough

Make it easy for them to tell
What they know all too well

And soon you will have a lot more stuff 

One benefit of being involved in a community or association is the informal learning that can come from peers.  Organizations often try to capture this knowledge in the form of case studies, lessons learned, or models and samples.  The problem is these collections rarely attract more than a small percentage of the ideas and insights individuals possess.

Organizations would be wise to set clear goals and metrics for the number and quality of the contributions they hope to receive annually and then develop a detailed action plan for soliciting, curating, and archiving individuals' contributions on an ongoing basis.  Instead of simple emailing a request for submissions, build the opportunity to contribute into other appropriate forums.  Example: when people register for a conference, capture an idea or lesson learned related to the conference content (maybe even incent those who contribute with a nominal discount or enter them into a drawing for a free registration).

Learning from peers is indeed one of the great benefits of affiliating with an organization, but if the collection of insights and resources is paltry then the received value will be insignificant.

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