concocting  extraordinary  teams

April 26, 2006

It's a Small World

I call it "networking". Linda Rising calls it "Tell Everyone". In her Patterns for Building a Beautiful Company, Linda has a pattern called "It's a Small World":

You’re an entrepreneur who wants to create a Beautiful Company. You’re trying to practice Beautiful Leadership. What’s the best way to get what you need?

Organizations, like all human groups, operate through conversation. [Senge 99]
Tell everyone you meet about your current projects.

The people you meet everyday are the quickest way to get what you want. If you’re unemployed, they’ll help you find a job. Most jobs are found through friends or personal connections. If you’re looking for an employee, personal contacts will help you find the right person...

It sure works for me!

An acquaintance, Chris Nolan, pointed me toward TorCamp last November, where I met a whole new community of passionate geeks :-). Last night at Molly Bloom's pub, networking with the DemoCamp crowd, a familiar-looking woman sat down (who is she? why does she look so familiar? oh yeah! it's Jen, Chris's lovely wife!). Jen is an app architect with IBM, and she told me about her current passion, Web 2.0. I told her about my latest escapade, editing an online publication, and it turns out she can provide the article I'm looking for on how Web 2.0 intersects with enterprise application development - Cool! And, as it happens, Jen is looking for a place to publish... looks like we can help each other out!

Jen took off to find sustenance (or wings, whichever she could locate first) so I chatted with my good buddy Derek. We were trying to figure out how we'd met... we couldn't recall, but it was surely more of this sitting-around-over-food! (that's a different Rising pattern we use, "Do Food" ) I told Derek about my current passion for "emergent documentation" and my quest to integrate tech writers into my software teams' collaborative processes. Lo and behold, Derek is a single-sourcing geek! I've been looking for someone who knows both single-sourcing and Agile software development, particularly Agile testing tools like Fitnesse. Who'd have thought I'd find him in Molly's attic? I was thrilled! Stay tuned for the book!

Never understimate the power of "hanging out". I can testify: tell EVERYONE what you're up to, and make opportunities to do so. They will in turn tell you. And, before you know it, you'll be doing more of what you're passionate about!



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