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Many Hands Make Light Work

Many Hands Make Light Work

by Frank Roche on January 13, 2007

in Teamwork

Red BarnHR’s job is to get it right. Every time. And if we don’t, people notice. They can be vocal, and they can be biting. But what if we could turn that energy into a collective barnbuilding? If there are mistakes, to get employees to be part of the solution? To leverage the Amish way of “many hands make light work”?

I was reading Thoughts on To-Do Lists by Diego Rodriguez and was struck with what he said about harnessing the energy of the public:

Just think what could happen if more organizations put their to-do lists out in public. I think we’d all feel a lot better about doing business with each other. Say — just for the sake of discussion — that you run the FAA’s website and you’ve found some embarrassing typos on your site. But you can’t fix them right away because your web admin is out hiking in Bora Bora (by the way, they’ve now been fixed). What if you could add the “Fix Typos on Travelers page” on your public FAA To Do List blog, right after the entry “Make our site almost as good as that best website ever from Tenacious D”? Knowing that someone intends to do something, that they are aware of their shortcomings and are trying to improve things, can go a long way toward making you believe.

Even better would be to open up that to-do list to anyone. So when I find the typos on the FAA website, rather than writing a snarky post on my blog, I help ‘em out by entering an item on their to-do list wiki. Now I’m part of the solution, and probably part of the brand. It’s about leveraging the power of the many to create the best pile of real evidence possible about what works and what doesn’t. At some point along the line this starts to feel a lot like open source.

A to-do list wiki. I’m putting that on my to-do list right now.

Photo credit
[tags]to-do, metacool, wiki, cooperation, HR[/tags]

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