Last week, I wrote a blog article called “Going Off the Rails” about how great and wonderful things can happen when the unexpected occurs. We work hard to avoid accidents, these moments of the unexpected, but sometimes those accidents can bring valuable new perspectives, energy and ideas.

Accidents happen all the time, and while they seem to happen just fine on their own, we can (and maybe should) play a proactive role in making those glorious, beautiful chaotic events happen in the first place.

We want these accidents. We want to hear voices we don’t usually hear. We want conversations we didn’t necessarily plan. Why do we want an accident in the first place?

  • To hear the unexpected
  • To challenge yourself, and your team
  • To think in a new way
  • To hear new perspectives, new humor (humor is important)
  • To bring the conversation to unexpected places
  • To be exposed to work and information from other areas of your organization
  • To explore unrealized creativity

As wonderful as the outcomes of the accidents can be, they are not always going to happen on their own. We need to plan for the unplanned. We need to provide a space for the collision. We need to invite the chaos.

  1. USE YAMMER
    I don’t mean to use just any enterprise social network or collaboration software, I mean Yammer.

    Not Teams. Teams keeps work segregated so that departmental work can get done quickly, but it can be challenging to see what other departments are working on, and to get involved in a seamless, meaningful way.

    Not Slack. Slack may connect to O365, but it is not deeply integrated. It does not connect your conversation to work or work to your conversation in as

    Yammer provides something valuable and unique that is hard to find elsewhere. Yammer helps to make work throughout your organization transparent and accessible.

    Use Yammer to post about the work your team is doing in a way that the rest of your entire organization can see. Share Word, Excel and Powerpoint files so that everybody has access to work progress, and they can use the built-in power of Office 365 to collaborate in ways that are both productive and time saving.

    The advantages of Yammer do not end there, because Yammer provides you with the opportunity to do so much more.
  2. PROACTIVELY INVITE OTHERS INTO YOUR WORK
    It’s not enough to make work available in your Yammer network for others to see. Your colleagues may sheepishly, and respectfully, stand by and not engage. So tag them. They will get an alert, and they will be more likely to respond. But don’t just tag people on your team, or in your department. Tag another supervisor. Tag people you don’t know. Tag your CEO. Everyone has a voice. Everyone has something to share.
  3. INVITE OTHERS INTO YOUR MEETINGS
    Yammer is only the start. Use Yammer as a way to connect, and when it is time to meet, invite some of these other people to talk with your team. Imagine how good they will feel to know you want to hear more of their advice and input.
  4. SHARE YOUR PLANNING
    It’s not just about the work, it’s also about the planning. Share your agendas in your Yammer network for all to see. Share the minutes, the reports and the assignments. Be transparent. Work Out Loud. Your colleagues will not consistently monitor your work, but your work will be there for them to see. You are providing space for accidents to happen.

We may think no one else wants to hear our voice, or that our colleagues are not interested in our input. Alternatively, we may think that no one would want to spend the time getting involved in our work, or that they are interested in sharing their expertise. These are the exact type of ruts we fall into in our day to day work.

The excuses no longer exist. We have the power and ability to do so much more. Crash the trains into each other (see Pt. 1) and create a spectacle. Let’s wake up everybody up. Let’s introduce the unexpected. Let’s create an accident. It’s time to get to work.

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