We all know the expression, “Let’s not re-create the wheel”. Still, employees and employers alike find themselves doing that every day. Why is it that leaders are encouraged to share best practices with other organizations, but employees and managers within departments often sit in silos not knowing what the other department, agency, group, etc… are doing? Best practice sharing isn’t just for leaders, it’s for everyone.
Karin Hunt, blogger and creator of Let Leaders Grow, talks in a recent blog about how important it is for leaders to listen to their own employees. She goes on to talk about the powerful advantages to “story-telling” and how to learn through collaboration. I know in my personal experiences when I sit down with my counterparts I’m often amazed at some of the things they are working on and how easily I could apply them to my own goals and objectives. And all it takes is one-hour a month out of our busy schedules to have this informal group “chat”.
Even when it doesn’t seem to make sense that one group could possibly learn from another, it doesn’t hurt to try. Leaders need to cultivate an environment that encourages sharing. What if the Parks & Rec Dept created a process for scheduling seasonal workers that the Transportation Dept could adopt during the snow season? What if the IT Dept had a solution to resolve incoming requests quickly that the Clerk’s Office could benefit from? This makes me think of that other expression we hear so often, “You never know unless you try”.
To read more about what Karin Hunt has to say about story-telling, visit her blog posted Oct 4th titled, Simplest Ways to Hear the Best Stories.