leanpizza.net - tasty Agile… one slice at a time – by Olivier Lafontan

Large Organisations,Patterns

November 30, 2010

Networking inside your organisation? Pick up your shovel and clear that snow!

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At the weekend a decent enough amount of snow fell where I live: we woke up with a couple of inches of the white stuff. As I live at the top of a close, I decided to pick up my shovel and clear some of it in front of my house. Not that I thought we really needed it, but it was also a good opportunity to be doing something outside with my kids.

As I got going, I discovered that the few cars that had already driven on the fresh snow had compacted it and that this compacted snow was really slippery now and quite hard to detach or scrape from the road – well, impossible really.

So, I changed my plan and decided to start clearing a path from my house all the way down to the main road at the bottom of the close.

This process took me a fair bit of time, maybe a couple of hours.

Now, here is the interesting bit: the time I was on that road, clearing it and making it more accessible, people driving by had the opportunity to stop and have a chat. Some of them thanked me for what I was doing, some of them telling me that they were going to buy some grit or salt to put on the road, and one actually joined me for a while, tackling another part of the project.

In this couple of hours I was there, I met and talked to more people living on the same close that I had in the 7 years I have been living there! And late in the same evening, I saw someone spreading grit on the road, way up the road from where they actually live on the close, the same person who told me previously they were going to buy some, and they were obviously doing it for more than just them.

I decided to create that entry because I think it has some resemblance to how one can network and possibly rally others inside a company. the analogy is there for the taking: find some snow, get your shovel and get to work, and before you know it, people will stop to ask you what you’re doing, some of them will thank you, some of them will help. Like anything, some people won’t really care, and they won’t tell you they do, that’s just life.

In the process, you will probably have made an interesting network, as well as actually clearing a road…

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  1. Hi Oli,

    nice story. This is also a story about showing what you do. Find something useful, something which can be enhanced, work on enhancement and show/tell others what you are doing.


    Comment by Dennis — December 13, 2010 @ 10:05 pm
  2. Hey Dennis,
    Yep I agree: the practice of Showing and Telling what you are up to is definitely a great vehicle for getting more people interested and engaged in the change. It works even better when what is presented has value for the audience.
    BTW, hope you had a good workshop yesterday!
    Speak in the new year, best wishes! ;-))

    Comment by Oli — December 17, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

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