Death by Delay - Never!

It takes more than leadership to get an idea through to implementation. In most organizations, you have to learn the political moves necessary to see a project through. Sometimes, that even means planting the idea with someone else.

HBR's Tip of the Day addresses just this in 3 steps. In How you protect your good idea

  • Death by delay. Adversaries may try to put off the discussion, ask for additional information, or otherwise delay a decision on your idea, thereby slowing momentum. Keep your audience focused on making a decision.
  • Confusion. Detractors often present distracting information or try to link your idea to several others in an attempt to confound people. Be clear about what your idea is and what it isn't.
  • Fear mongering. Nothing kills an idea faster than irrational anxieties. Know what fears your challengers might stir up and be prepared to allay them.
  • I like these tips so much, I bought the book and it is currently waiting for me in my Kindle app. To make it even more compelling, a coworker finished the book in two days and is recommending it to everyone. I plan on getting through a good portion waiting in line today for the second DC Daily Show taping. (Yes, I have a "can be admitted if you get there before 500 other people" ticket.) I hope it lives up to the recomendation my coworker gave.

    Chief Collaboration Officer

    The last few days, HBR has caused me to start thinking, yet again. There was an article posted to their blog about how each organization needs to have a Chief Collaboration Officer. As I started reading and processing the article, it made perfect sense.

    Increasingly, companies are embracing collaboration as part of their strategy to grow, by cross-selling products to existing customers and innovating through the recombination of existing technologies. But this won't work unless employees work effectively across silos — across sales offices, business units, sales, product development, and marketing.

    This new Chief would be the person responsible to connecting the different areas within the organization and beating down those silos. Beyond this, new media would be housed under this Chief. Which, in my opinion, is the perfect location. This person is someone who would teach their staff how to develop relationships on and offline. Staff in other departments would know who to go to for specific projects. They would be the people connecting others together to work more efficiently. They would be the new type of project manager.

    ...craft a holistic solution to collaboration, one that involves strategy, HR, product development, sales solutions, marketing, and IT. In short, he needs to be a masterful collaborator. Choosing a CCO is less about which role a person currently occupies and more about whether he or she has the skills. Pick the best collaborator.

    In a older, hierarchal system, this would be extremely difficult to implement. This new type of employee could be perceived as rocking the boat. I would encourage those who see this type of position this way to examine their structure. Where are the silos? Are there any? Is this type of collaboration happening naturally? Are specific people already fulfilling this role but without the Chief title? If they are, connect with those individual. You never know, you might already have someone on staff who is perfect for this role.