Your article speaks to business owners that are already successful which is why I rated it a “10”
One of the fundamental hallmarks of successful companies, and a key building block for successful business careers, is a predisposition to 1) initiate and engage in powerful conversations, and 2) facilitate communication networks. The strongest leaders ensure that everyone - including themselves - talks with everyone, real time, all the time. And we're not just talking about social marketing with customers.
Companies need to ensure that all cylinders fire when they should and all wheels are perfectly aligned. Functional excellence is great, but integrative excellence - the ability to build processes, structures, and culture that destroy organizational silos while energizing networks, conversations, and collaboration – is even better.
Entrepreneurs who don’t participate in and cultivate networks will fail. Maybe that wasn't true a decade or two ago, but in our 24/7 networked world of social media, there is no alternative. Opt out at your own peril. Our networks must include every function in our companies – yes, even the unholy trinity of Finance, Legal, and Regulatory – as well as peers in other industries.
A few things to consider:
Here's the underlying reality: Everything (that includes us) is interconnected. Marketers can’t get there without Sales, Finance, Operations, Product Development, agencies, and of course those pesky customers. Solopreneurs can’t get there without referral networks, suppliers, clients, etc. Your success depends on my success and vice versa.
So kumbaya, my friends: if we are not working together, surely we will end up playing alone. And any kindergartener can tell you that’s not as much fun.
Learn more about the author, Mark P Friedman.
Excellent article! In the book Crowdsourcing, Jeff Howe confirmed your point about group intelligence when he pointed out that initially people doubted how accurate Wikipedia could be. He referred to a study that concluded that while, statistically one person out of 1000 could describe a particular topic accurately, merging the knowledge of 1000 people gave more correct information than any one could. In this electronic age, the network is not only more powerful. It is more available (as Biznik demonstrates)
Randal and Bud, thanks much for the comments!
Bud, excellent example of how group intelligence trumps individual genius. Thanks!
Great article and absolutely true! No man is an island and we're all in this together. I think your profile states why you understand this so well, by combining “small business street smarts with big company discipline" - a winning combination for sure! Thank you for this article! With kindness, Elena
Elena - I appreciate your endorsement! Thanks for commenting, and hope to see you here again!
Your article is absolutely fundamental in Business Essentials 101. It's a breath a fresh air to note it's perfectly ok to be a team player. Thanks for posting.
Thanks Nelson! Isn't it funny how the culture likes to portray entrepreneurs as go-it-alone supermen? The fact is, entrepreneurialism is a team sport.
I appreciate your support.
I enjoyed the entire article, and the piece that really shone for me was "Group stupidity has no lower limit." Very often groups tire in their conversations or debates around their business topics/issues and give in to the sometimes overwhelming urge to "just get this done so we can move on" option.
I am curious, what do you recommend a leader (and I'm not referring to the title so much as the state of being) do, or create, in situations where the group is struggling to reach their ideal outcome?
Adrienne - terrific question! What you describe is a kind of negotiation, and for me negotiation starts with candor. When I'm facilitating, I try to get all participants to articulate 1) their interests, and 2) their vision of ideal outcome. Sometimes nonverbal exercises help, e.g., collages, drawing, etc., but some groups work best verbally.
When everything is on the table, people can engage without defensiveness, and the group can seek to ladder up to a better decision than any individual imagined, without dumbing down to an easy compromise.
Yes, this does make sense. Thank you!
Nice job, Mark! I always enjoy your candor and knowledge, no matter what the topic! What a great resource you are for small business owners - thanks for sharing with us!
Jen, thanks for your support!