Not now, I’m busy

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Thomas Edison 1847 – 1931

Here’s a short blog prompted by a few conversations I’ve been part of in recent weeks. We’re all pretty busy these days, what with shrinking budgets and increasing workloads. But why is it that some people still find time to keep an eye out for the next big thing. You, know, the better mousetrap that will transform our lives? Are we simply dreamers who need to focus more on the job in hand or is it because experience has shown us that spotting the first ‘better mousetrap’ made our jobs and lives easier?  Who’s the most valuable employee, the one who keeps there head down and stubbornly pushes the stone block up the hill or the one who glanced to their left and saw other people placing logs underneath and started rolling instead of heaving? There’s a prize for anyone adopting social media and you don’t have to be an early adopter to benefit but the minimum you have to do is raise up your head and take a look. I’m just saying.

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In Your Own Backyard

There’s many a tale with a moral about searching near and far and finding the answer lies in your own backyard. A cynic would interpret that as a subtle bit of social engineering to maintain the social order and stop people getting ideas above their station.  I could continue this thread in that negative vein and explore the folly of keeping people or services in silos (backyards) to the detriment of the organisation but I’d like to go in a more positive direction. It’s a useful analogy for the deployment of social media across an organisation. I’ll give you two examples.

1 ADVOCACY: A hard pressed communications team tries to manage the message and fight the fires of criticism that spring up not just in the media but all over the place. We’ve gathered hard evidence of citizens stepping in, unprompted, to support us on social media forums…independent advocates on our own doorstep.

2 OUR GREATEST ASSET: We’ve just unleashed Yammer internally and the timing couldn’t be better. Tight budgets and dwindling resources require smart solutions. They don’t require old skool thinking and a silo mentality. So where’s all this smart thinking going to come from? Staff of all pay grades, with transferable skills and an enthusiasm to make a better organisation are signing up to our Yammer community. There’s no hierarchy. We can sound out ideas, share best practice and support each other…a ready made ideas factory in our own backyard.

So the next time you’re wondering where to find help, the answer could be closer to home than you think.