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20 Jun

What is waiting to be ”sent out” is often forgotten

Datum: 2017-06-20 18:08

Dur­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with a client who was in the tricky sit­u­a­tion of hav­ing to dis­trib­ute impor­tant knowl­edge and infor­ma­tion to sev­er­al recent­ly hired employ­ees in a short amount of time a few weeks ago, we dis­cov­ered that one of the cowork­ers had cre­at­ed a num­ber of cheat sheets and guides a while back which in a sim­ple and ped­a­gog­i­cal way explained every­thing the new­com­ers need­ed to learn. 

The cheat sheets were not active­ly used though, but had been left and for­got­ten in a fold­er wait­ing to be dis­trib­uted” and sent to the rest of the office.

That last, final push
This phe­nom­e­na is more com­mon than you would think. We cre­ate some­thing that sim­pli­fies things or refine a rou­tine some­how, but then halt our progress just before dis­trib­ut­ing” it or send­ing it to the oth­ers that need the mate­r­i­al. It stays in the fold­er or draw­er, and we for­get about it. The rea­son might be that even if we are experts at the process the rou­tine described, we aren’t great at get­ting the new and improved rou­tine out there” — the final piece that is quite cru­cial if our change or effort is to have any effect at all. We might also be short of time, and the time we had set aside to sim­pli­fy the process or rou­tine was spent doing just that.

And when we were done and about to get it out there”, send it to the rest of the office or dis­trib­ute some oth­er way, some­thing unfore­seen hap­pened that we need­ed to focus on instead. Or per­haps we are so focused on find­ing a solu­tion to the com­pli­cat­ed task before us that once we have, we take a deep breath, let it go and for­get all about it — thus also for­get­ting to make it avail­able to oth­ers in need of our solution.

Sort out the sep­a­rate steps
Regard­less the rea­son why we fail to pub­lish or make it avail­able, we can help our­selves do bet­ter next time by defin­ing what get­ting it out there” real­ly means. Do we need to ask some­one for some­thing, send some­thing, write some­thing, pub­lish some­thing in a spe­cif­ic loca­tion — or some­thing else?

Do this
If you are cur­rent­ly work­ing on some­thing that needs to be made avail­able to oth­ers at some point, ask your­self right now:

  • Who will you make it avail­able for? Just your­self? Your col­leagues? Any­one else?

  • How will you reach them (or your­self, if you are your own tar­get audi­ence)? Via a meet­ing, with a note, an arti­cle in the intranet, via a short­cut placed in the right spot, or some oth­er way?

  • What to-do-tasks (using just one verb for every task) do you need to com­plete in order to get what you have cre­at­ed out there”? Add these to your to-do-list and con­sid­er your­self one step clos­er to hav­ing made a dif­fer­ence by cre­at­ing the mate­r­i­al, sim­pli­fy­ing the process or doc­u­ment­ing the routine.

It will now have the desired effect
If you con­cretize the final steps for dis­tri­b­u­tion in the process of cre­at­ing a mate­r­i­al, chances are that your efforts will have the desired effect to a much greater extent. The risk of wast­ing time and bril­liant ideas, which you oth­er­wise might have when for­get­ting about what you have devel­oped and move on to new projects, decreases.

What’s your way?
How do you make sure that the improve­ments and sim­pli­fi­ca­tions you have made are imple­ment­ed? As you might know, old habits die hard, so any tips are wel­come in th com­ment-sec­tion below.