One of the greatest learnings about leadership and team management that we have gained from operating a project of the magnitude and scope of One Community is the value of creating a culture of “how can I help” and “build on top of.” Working with diverse teams on goals as large as ours has clearly identified the value of these approaches in supporting the necessary on-going positive mindset, energy, accountability, proactivity, and leadership supportive of our collective success. Because of this, we have made these two statements a sort of mantra within our organization that is foundational to how we look at accomplishing tasks together.
HOW CAN I HELP
Creating and maintaining a culture of “how can I help” means expecting all individuals to ask “how can I help” versus appointing a Facilitator or Manager to seek out individuals needing things to do and then assigning tasks. Most of us have had the experience of working with a group where one or more individuals are constantly needing to be asked to help. In situations like these, even with an energetic and willing participant, it still takes on-going energy from someone else to keep these individuals engaged in whatever process is being undertaken. This is energy we would much rather apply to tasks. So instead of accepting that some people just need to be asked all the time, we’ve created and maintain a culture of “how can I help” with the understanding that needing to be asked to help repeatedly is a great opportunity to share feedback so we can all be more accountable and effective moving forward.
BUILD ON TOP OF
The second important mindset and One Community cultural element we have created is the concept of “build on top of.” What this means is that we constantly seek to improve or evolve an existing idea rather than start over because we have recognized the vast majority of what we are doing has never been done to this extent before, and there are a seemingly endless variety of different approaches to doing it. While this doesn’t mean any idea is set in stone, what it does mean is that with a culture of “build on top of” we have found benefit in asking the following key questions first when engaging any part of the One Community project:
Through asking these three simple questions, we have found that we have been able to more effectively maintain our creative input and energy on designing solutions, continued expansion, and what is needed to move everything forward versus less productive approaches.