Jim Taggart

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Are You a Hub Spoke in Your Organization?

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I remember when I was in my late twenties in the early eighties, completing my Masters in economics, replete with a two-year old, facing an ominous job market. I lucked out, bagging a term job with government which turned out to be in the end a 29 year gig.

Back in 1982, my co-workers and I were pretty pumped up to the get the first micro-computer in the regional office, an Apple III+, complete with two floppy disk drives. No hard disk.

Our colleagues in other units were awestruck. “Holy crap, is that ever cool!”
Later in 1983, we jacked up to an IBMx3, which had a monstrous 10 megabyte hard drive. Four economists shared that sucker. Man, it was great. Then it was onwards to individual 286s, 386s, 486 Pentiums, etc.

At this point Gen Y is saying, “What the hell is this old fart talking about? Everyone’s always had computers, fast ones at that!”

I remember when the early clam cell phones came out. Bar phones weren’t cool. One dude in the regional office had a clam phone. Wow!
Dateline: 1998

Then came some years later the ultracool Motorola Razr. Holy geez, can I get one of those suckers?
Dateline: 2003

And then came Steve Jobs’ innovation: iPhones. What were greeted with amazement and unbridled enthusiasm by consumers, the first couple of generations now seen as under-powered devices with limited functionality. Where will we be ten years hence with wireless devices?

Technology and society are moving so fast that each of us needs to figure out how to contribute constructively to our organizations, whether you’re in a large company, small outfit, government, the not-for-profit sector, or an entrepreneur.

This post has a few suggestions to help you.

First off, if you want to succeed at whatever you do—bureaucrat, entrepreneur, small business owner, whatever—you need to invest yourself in your work: emotionally, physically and spiritually.

It’s a heck of a lot easier if you’re passionate about your cause.

So what, by the way, is a hub spoke? Simply put, it’s a central connecting point.

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Here are eight ways to set yourself apart in whatever area where you want to make a positive difference in the world, and to become in your organization, or community, a hub spoke.

1. Connect people: in your organization, community, across physical boundaries. Share what you know openly as you bring people together, whether at work or virtually.

2. Learn your ASREA:
Analyze – how to analyze situations objectively. It’s not just about the “numbers” but how you access your intuition.

Synthesize – ability to synthesize information from diverse sources to make sense of what seems like an over-loaded, chaotic world of data. Synthesizing is a valuable skill that’s growing rapidly in importance as data-overload grows and as the speed of decision-making increases.

Reflect – take time to reflect on what you’ve accumulated, analyzed and synthesized. Your gut is your best friend when it comes to making sense and what to do with all this information.

Engage – you can’t know everything or do everything yourself so engage those you trust and respect. Explore partnerships, which are how things get done more and more in today’s business world.

Act – Take time to line up your ducks, but then it’s time to execute.

3. Find your uniqueness: Where do you provide unique, value-added products or services? Sameness is not only boring but you don’t want to be seen as being part of the flock. Stand out.

4. Lead your customers into uncharted areas: Don’t just listen closely to their needs but help extend and broaden their willingness to experiment with the new.

5. Co-create the future with your co-workers: Inspire them to share your vision, in which they see themselves.

6. Become a subject matter expert: Know your stuff. Being a sponge for learning greatly helps you acquire subject matter expertise.

7. Know that you’re a mere mortal: Laugh at yourself at lot, never at others’ expense. People will respect you all the more.

8. Never by satisfied: Your learning stalls out when you no longer feel any tension or uncomfortableness. Stretch your learning until it begins to hurt.

Communication is everyone’s panacea for everything.
– Tom Peters

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Click here to download a complimentary copy of Jim’s e-book Becoming a Holistic Leader, 3rd Edition.

Visit Jim’s e-Books, Resources and Services pages.

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