Key Point: Peer-to-peer power. I thought I understood how important this idea was and then recently watched this principle blossom into something that made me realize it can truly be exponential in advancing both results and culture.
My organization needed 50 people to lead a major initiative with the mandate to truly revolutionize the way we work; 5,000 plus team members contributing in much more collaborative and productive ways. We did NOT ask for leaders to recommend candidates. Rather, we outlined exactly what attributes we were looking for and invited people to “audition.” The result was remarkable… Hundreds of passionate, excited prospects emerged, many that we would likely have never “found” through the normal channels.
When we selected the final 50, they represented every level and other identity domain of the company; region, age, experience, gender, line of business, etc. We then asked them to leave their roles, titles and rest “at the door” as they came together for a 30 day boot camp. Their final output was to present a detailed framework for revolutionizing the way we work; including but not limited to implementing a new productivity technology platform (Google’s G Suite), 10x better processes, measurable milestones, and so on. The “capstone” presentations that represented their work were given thus past Friday, followed by a “graduating” ceremony and celebration. The content of the work was stunningly exceptional.
As the cohort gathered in a circle to recount how the 30-day boot camp experience impacted them personally and professionally, it was somewhat “jaw dropping” in the most inspirational way. The respect, gratitude, growth and overwhelming sense of collective accomplishment was astonishing. I have seen teams come together in the past, but this was something special… Actually, magical.
The experience and observation reinforced that unleashing more of this peer power is a vital competent of modern organizations. The principles include and are not limited to the following:
- Provide for people to raise their hands and audition; transparently invite passion to prevail over managers’ nominations and selections.
- Bring people from every part of the company fabric to come together as a dedicated cohort to bust artificial silos into oblivion.
- Let titles and position stature become subordinate to the ideas, imagination, and unique skills of a cohort.
- Understand that people will come together in deep care and respect for each other if the purpose is clear and values/expectations are intentionally stated.
- Recognize that many “hives” of these groups coming together in short powerful sprints will revolutionize the organization.
This is the way work should and will be done. Yes, we will have individual responsibilities and accountability. And we will have a direct “boss.” However, much of our time and contribution will be spent on strategically important initiatives where we can jump in and give our most incredible best. This will involve providing an organization/social platform where a genius collection of skills, attributes, imagination and ideas prevail over traditional vertical structures. How powerful… How democratizing… How profoundly 10x better. It will result in a work revolution.
- If you could raise your hand and audition for an initiative that could change your organization in a 10x way, what would that be? Who would you like to work with? How fast could you come up with exponential recommendations? What stops you from doing it? How could you change that?
Peer Power in The Triangle,
One Millennial View: Wow, how cool. Y’know? More and more, I’m under the impression that some people make up their own roadblocks and create reasons they are unable to “raise their hand” and propose 10x improvement. It could be fear, or wanting to maintain comfort, or a million other misinterpretations… But I’d be willing to raise my hand and bet that as long as the objective has the intention to benefit the whole company, anyone can deliver their idea to any higher up worth their salt. Auditioning can be scary, but if you never do it, you’ll never get the part. (Little tip straight from Hollywood, ha).
Edited and published by Garrett Rubis