I work to improve the environment. And everyone has an interest in the environment right? My colleagues and I want to get people to do things to improve the environment, and not do things that can harm it.
We can do a lot ourselves. And we do. But we depend on others doing stuff for themselves and working with us. How successful that is depends on the information we share and how we work with others.
I was chatting to someone yesterday about who we engage with to get stuff done. Whether that's to understand user needs or to look for opportunities to work together in partnership.
I explained that I think we need to do more with different groups, who we commonly haven't engaged with much in the past.
Then i started talking about archery targets. Here's one in case you have a bad imagination.
We have the groups that we engage with a lot in the gold section. We know them well, they know us well and they're really important to us. But are we investing the right amount in the relationship with them?
There aren't that many people / organisations in the gold. Do we spend too much time aiming at it at the expense of other areas?
I realise we need to work with those in the gold, and maintain relationships, but do we look where the big opportunities are? And consider if we are embracing them?
I think there are some really big, really really big opportunities to work with others to deliver our outcomes in the other rings. Those rings are much bigger, cover broader areas and have a broader range of customers, opinions, needs and opportunities.
That means we need to step back from aiming at the gold and see what we can achieve elsewhere by engaging with others to understand their needs and working with them to deliver more together.
You might need to work a bit differently. But working differently is good right?
The example I discussed with a colleague was about getting people to use our environmental data. We do a lot of great work in this area but data conversations can quite often be from data people to data people and therefore be quite technical and not targeted at those who don't operate in the data world. We often engage with the small community of daily data users in the gold. If we had more conversations with those in the other rings, who might only need to use our data say once a year to look at risk to their business, could we massively increase the take up of data use, and outcomes would follow. I think so.
It's a bit like a business bringing a new product to market. Dragons Den always ask you if you know what your market is, or what it could be? They check where you could make a big sale or have a big influence. They ask if you are focussed too much on one small area. They enquire what your influencing strategy is. They ask you what you know about your customers.
So if you want to engage with customers or partners to work with them to deliver your outcomes, think about stepping back from the target and thinking about who they all are. Think about the direct and indirect benefits you could achieve working with them and consider how to approach them, after of course finding out more about them.
It can take a massive amount of effort to hit the gold. You can still score lots of points aiming elsewhere, target markets might be easier to hit and you might deliver more…..
You might discover something more valuable than gold.
Mr Paul Wyse