Friday, February 16, 2007

Look out - Its an idea!

Here is the punch line of an ad: "All Wall-Street needs are ideas". The punch line wouldn't really make an impact unless you see the visuals. Each scene has a different business setting. Everything in each scene begins to disappear except the people who are interacting in the scene. Furniture, coffee mugs, professional degrees - everything.

Though the ad takes aim at investments, I think it applies very well to workplaces. Really all we need is an idea, everything else will follow. The reason why a lot of us feel trapped at work or find our work dissatisfying is because we are all riding somebody else’s idea.

It’s true! All we need is an idea. The problem is the idea is hard to come by and even harder to spot. So then all we can do is ride along with somebody else.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Connectors

The first Barbeque party was a very innocent idea. I was in a new city and at a new job. Just out of college I knew nobody in the city and all I really wanted to do was find somebody whom I could call a friend. I started out by calling a few people from work. It turned out to be good fun. The problem is that slowly the group that I invited began polarizing and eventually it fragmented into smaller groups. Now I invite only one of those sub groups.

The book "Tipping point" by Malcolm Gladwell talks about connectors. Connectors as the book suggests are people who play the role of connecting people. They bring people together no matter what the setting. It is through them that groups of people interact with each other and remain connected. Without them the group would be a fragmented force. But with an active "connector" they form a very strong cohesive bond. With this kind of a person begins a tipping point of any great idea.

Before my experiences with entertaining, I always thought that the act of inviting and entertaining people was the hard part. But truly the hard part is not that, but the ability to form the cohesive force in a group. To be able to facilitate as the "connector" is the true art. The reason for this is that the connector has to disregard the small things that are unlikable about a person and simply build the "connection". The connector has to also bring together the disparity between different sub groups that people tend to gravitate towards in a larger group and bring them all together.

We all like to invite and entertain, but really what we are all trying to become are connectors. Alas only a few of us will actually get there.