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Clarify Your Values To Live Them More Fully – With Others

Switch wn-2Getting very specific about what most matters to you enables you to act more consistently, in keeping with your core values. That congruence can boost others’ trust in you according Shawn Murphy, co-founder of Switch and Shift. To identify your values take the quiz at The Center for Ethical Leadership and/or from What’sNext and/or from Online Personality Tests.

toursTake “Tours of Duty” to Spark Talent-Building and Engagement

Most any kind of organization can foster innovation, talent building and camaraderie by adopting the tour-of-duty approach used at LinkedIn and advocated by its founder and co-author of The Alliance, Reid Hoffman.  “Employees might embark on a rotational, transformational or foundational tour of duty,” notes Shawn Murphy in The Optimistic Workplace, describing how that happens at LinkedIn.  Consider adapting this opportunity at your organization, because of the benefits of learning faster with others:

  1. Learning the basics about the company.
  2. Participating in a transformational task, “such as starting a department.”
  3. Being trained to lead by diverse others in the firm.

specific meaningul-2See Specificity as Key To Self-Clarity and Mutual Understanding

“Employees must commit for the duration of each tour in a mutually beneficial deal, with explicit terms, between independent players,” suggests LinkedIn founder, Reid Hoffman. “He advocates providing term sheet that explains what the company expects and what it offers, whether it’s an exchange of contacts or help finding a job elsewhere,” Bloomberg Business journalist Bryant Urstadt wrote in characterizing the specificity of LinkedIn policy that boosts it’s popularity and power for all parties.

Hint: Getting specific has other benefits. It boosts clarity within yourself and reduces the chance of others misunderstanding you. Your specificity can also boost your credibility and memorability. That’s priceless

Facilitate the Networks That Keep Employees Engaged for Life

The company can optimize the shared learning from the tours of duty, by having an aptly designed enterprise social-enabled intranet, according to Enterprise Strategies founder and IBM Social Consulting practice leader for North America Andy Jankowski: “The last thing you or your employees want after a successful tour is the loss of that shared experience.

Jankowsli bookEnterprise social networks allow for key collaborations to happen digitally – in a format that is stored, searchable, findable and reusable. Get his free e-book: Enterprise Social Networks as an Enabler of Collaboration.

These networks provide the needed glue and context for meaningful and efficient knowledge sharing and engagement. As well, these networks can extend beyond the company firewall, and thus maintain and grow networks of current and past employees who share a common experience that can often continue to contribute to the company.”

corporate latticeOffering Greater Career Flexibility Helps Employees and Companies

When a company policy supports employees and their bosses in collaborating on a zig zag career path (rather than a traditional corporate ladder) that supports both the career and lifestyle goals of the employee and the overall mission of the company, all parties win, suggests Deloitte game changer, Cathy Benko and Molly Anderson in The Corporate Lattice.

Like the tour of duty policy it’s a “mass customization” approach to individual careers that retains top talent too.latticen-2

Mutual Mentoring Boosts Self-Organizing, Innovation and Conviviality

An under-utilized, no cost opportunity for cross-departmental learning and relationship building that can also spark serendipitous insights for innovation in a company is mutual mentoring. That can take several forms. For example, an aptly designed intranet could facilitate employees at all levels in finding employees with the exact expertise or experience from whom they could learn for an immediate, one-time or longer term need or interest. Ellen Weber offers a mutual mentoring program here.

imagesRather than just spurring reverse mentoring, where 20-something employees guide older workers in, say, digital technology, why not encourage mutual mentoring across your company? Also some employees might seek colleagues with complementary talents who share a sweet spot of mutual interest that reflects a company need or possible opportunity.

They might explore creating a self-organized team to tackle it, especially if the company encouraged such exploration, with guidelines as explicit as Reid Hoffman’s for tours of duty.

What methods have you experienced or seen at work that makes work more productive, enjoyable and meaningful? I may cite your specific insight in a future column.

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