October 26, 2007

Business practice maven-wannabe

October 26, 2007 - Categories: work

That’s what Stephen Perelgut and I came up with: business practice
maven-wannabe. I want to get really good at observing people and
bringing out the best things about the way they work, or taking new
technologies and figuring out good ways to use them. I also want to
get really good at spreading these practices to other people,
tailoring my message for specific groups. Like a business practice
evangelist, except it isn’t just one business practice and there’s a
lot more listening. “Business practice maven-wannabe” is the best way
I have so far to describe this. Can you think of a better one?

Terminology is very important. If I can find the right words, then
I’ll find other people and resources, and we’ll all have “aha!”
moments. If I choose the wrong words, then _I’ll_ get muddled about my
own vision. All sorts of benefits will come when I can get that
concept nailed down and I can focus on becoming an expert at it. Also,
if I have a big-picture view, then I can work through all sorts of
challenges because I can see how they help me move towards my goal.

What do I see myself doing? In the beginning, I’d like to start out
with working with individuals or small groups, helping them make the
most of technologies I’m familiar with. Blogs, social bookmarks,
wikis… there’s plenty of material. Even e-mail has plenty of
cultural practices that could make people’s lives easier.

Then I want to adapt to new technologies. As I get to know my target
audiences (there’s never just one!), it’ll be easier for me to think
about new technologies and how those technologies could fit into
people’s lives.

Then I want to scale up in terms of subject: not just technology, but
the business practices that surround the use of tools. I want to scale
up from people and small groups to organizations. I want to help
organizations explore new ideas and manage change.

If I learn how to influence companies, I might learn how to influence
industries. Success at that level could be about the changes creating
enough competitive advantage for the company that its competitors
follow suit.

What do I enjoy about all of this? First, I *love* helping people work
more effectively or do a better job or simply have more fun with what
they do. I can start off by minimizing the irritants and then move on
to expanding people’s capabilities and inspiring their imagination.
Second, keeping an eye out for best practices means I’m constantly
learning from other people about interesting ways of doing things, and
I *love* that feeling of being surrounded by brilliant people. Third,
I enjoy infecting other people with my enthusiasm. Tons of fun, that.
So I want to get really good at this, because the better I am at it,
the more fun I’ll have.

What kinds of companies and projects would help me move towards that
goal? If I can get the hang of doing internal evangelism, and then
turn around and do that for our clients as well, that would be a good
place to start.

How can I measure my effect, the value I provide? Time saved?
Adoption? Sustained adoption? Testimonials? Customer satisfaction?
More about metrics as I think about these things.

So that’s my big-picture view going ahead. Exciting stuff!

Random Emacs symbol: muse-publish-contents-depth – Variable: The number of heading levels to include with tags.