Publish or Perish

What is the most important aspect of great teamwork? Cooperation? Coordination? No, those are just symptoms and synonyms. The most important aspect is communication. Everyone needs to know what is going on if they are to find and fulfill their role or come to agreements. In large companies, you can’t inform everyone of your plans and actions in person due to everyone’s busy schedules (including your own), but you can communicate with masses via writing. If you want to successfully implement an idea, you need to publish, or you’ll perish.

Allow me to define the word “publish” for the context of this article. I don’t mean professionally publishing a book or academic material for public consumption. I mean communicating with the people in your company via emails, noticeboards, and articles on the company intranet or newsletter.

“But if I’m constantly sending people emails, won’t they get mad at me?” Yes. At first. Until they see the value in it.

To offer an example, an engineer and myself were crafting a prototype for a tool to measure temperature. It had some neat features like magnets and Wi-Fi connectivity, but we failed to explain that the first few, well, several emails. My colleague and I just worked on it and I sent group emails asking for thoughts and feedback. People weren’t too happy receiving emails about some prototype they didn’t understand. Upon this realisation, I explained it, and continued updating everyone on our project. At first I had one intrigued respondent, then it slowly grew until I was going back and forth with several curious people at once. One struggling business unit asked for 25 of these gadgets to improve the collection of their data. I was thrilled to oblige, then emailed the entire unit to let them know the product was going to be implemented in their area.

So let’s consider the two paths my colleague and I faced.

Publish – Our product is recognised, appreciated, and implemented on a sizable scale in our work environment, assisting in the collection of valuable data to improve the plant.

Don’t Publish – Valuable time, energy, and resources is dedicated into a product that no one cares about, it isn’t implemented to its fullest potential, collecting data on temperature remains a harder task than it needs to be, and any issues related to its collection persist for longer or are never solved.

So what will it be:

Publish?

Or Perish?

 

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