Connect Four…..Or More
One of the four skill areas for becoming a collaborative leader was coined by The Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell as a “connector.” These individuals have ties to different social worlds and a strong ability to link people, ides, and resources that would otherwise miss each other. In organizations, connectors are critical facilitators of collaboration. Building bridges to the outside world, examining how politics, technology, science, and sociology are impacting how we serve customers, clients, and improve our organization.
Are you a collaborative leader in your program, division, or organization? Consider these questions:
- Do you attend conferences outside your professional specialty?
- Are you part of a national or global network like Young Presidents’ Organization or National Council of Nonprofits?
- Do you regularly blog or email employees and colleagues bout trends, ideas, and people you encounter outside your organization?
- How often do you meet with people or groups outside your organization who are not directly relevant to your immediate job demands or current operations?
- Are you on the board of or volunteer with any outside organizations?
Ibarra and Hansen have found that this connector skill is one that collaborative leaders who get results do well. Another is to engage talent at the periphery, which we will examine in our next blog.