I’m very gratified to participate in this year’s Blog Action Day (aka BAD). In fact, I’m proud to say I’ve participated in every Blog Action Day since I’ve been blogging.
The event started in 2007 by three bloggers trying to make a difference. Each year, bloggers around the world write about a single topic. Past years have focused on poverty, climate change and safe drinking water. Google’s Official Blog as well as the White House blog have participated in the past.
I can’t think of a more fitting topic for this year – “The Power of We”. While there are many things we can do as individuals, there is a tremendous advantage when we are able to work together. Truly great things can happen when we are able to build consensus among a group of people with diverse opinions.
Throughout history, we’ve seen examples of the power in coming together to make things better. Like the support after Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami in Japan. We’ve also seen groups with a common cause impact the status quo. Regardless of your political persuasion, the Civil Rights Movement, Tiananmen Square, and the Arab Spring have changed the global discussion and landscape.
And, we see it in business. Social collaboration is a perfect example of companies trying to leverage the power of we. Even when “we” are scattered all over the world. Being a corporate trainer, I’m finding that informal and social learning are shifting the conversation from the power of an individual instructor to the power of the participants.
Don’t get me wrong, individual contributors will always be needed. And there are certain types of projects that individual efforts are best suited for. That doesn’t mean we can ignore the greater power of collaboration. In order to be successful, we must recognize when “the power of we” is necessary.
I’m sure you’ve seen it as well. There’s a project – someone takes it on thinking they can complete it on their own. Then they fail because they needed to bring in other people. The opposite is also true. A group of people decide to take on a project that could really be accomplished by one person. And it gets completed mucked up because “too many chefs are in the kitchen”.
“The Power of We” can change the world. When it’s used properly and for the right reasons.