How Collective Effort Amplifies What You Do
When the work is all on you, it can be very hard. When you get people involved, it changes everything.
You can make something better when others join in with you. It takes time to figure out, but when you start to find openings and routes to explore, it can raise what you do.
It’s the who can join in, not the how can it work, that becomes the priority. A network of support is important for us all.
James Surowiecki said in his 2004 book, The Wisdom Of Crowds, ‘the crowd becomes more influential as it becomes bigger.’
Let me share in this article the importance of finding a group of people to work together and where collective ambition can find a spark.
The Pressure When It’s All On You
Doing all the legwork is draining. We can’t work in silos where it’s just you broadcasting to the world. What happens is that it’s you fighting a corner, wanting to be heard and looking for acceptance and validation from others. Most of the time, the short-term attention does not transfer into a longer-term commitment (read this article on playing the short and long game).
From my own experience, when you take everything onboard yourself, you will never scale as there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do what you want. The old me would have knuckled down and then realised that I didn’t have the know-how or capabilities.
The person I am today will look at ways to work with others to make something better. The reason our online show You Are The Media Online kept beyond the pandemic is because of the participation and involvement from everyone else, not just there during the lockdown.
This is why there is something to be championed around a collective ambition.
The Collective Hits Differently
Here’s an example where the collective spirit outweighs an individual approach. A local school was collecting items for a truck convoy that was heading from Poole to Poland to support those in refuge.
The school is nearby so reached out to the YATM community and drove to people to pick up items from a list. When I went to the supermarket, there were many boxes for pain relief (aspirins, ibuprofen) in the basket.
I was told that you can only buy two packs in one transaction (so had to hand them back). When it’s only two boxes, that’s fine, but when 20 people join in during separate purchases, the basket gets bigger.
The point I am trying to make here is that when you choose to do something on your own, the impact is far less than others prepared to get involved with you. When you co-ordinate the opportunity to bring like-minded people together you can do good work.
YATM is about to deliver something new, that I hope becomes part of the calendar of activity. On 31st March we are going to have the YATM Game Nite, an evening for people to get together, no business talks or Q&A, just a night of games.
It’s the idea of Liam Toms. Liam is a part of the YATM community and his idea to create this format. It is an example when people from within a group want to step up and bring their own ideas to the table. It’s this exchange of ideas and openness, where the profile and ability of everyone is increased.
When people step up, working together has much more meaning. Liam says, “At the YATM Online Offline December event (and perhaps even before that throughout the pandemic) this community learned to embrace the chaos. YATM Game Nite is intended to elevate the characters in our community, without the pressure of anyone having to deliver a keynote speech.”
“For me personally, hosting Game Nite as part of YATM rather than independently makes total sense. This is 100% “our” event and the format has the potential to continue past the March debut. With or without me at the helm.”
When you do things with others, it’s important to do it wholeheartedly and not just dip a toe in.
How You Can Make Collective Ambition A Reality
When people feel and become a part of something, a space is formed to support one another.
Here is how it can work when you shift from an individual approach to an aggregated effort.
It begins with a solid platform
There has to be a central place where people can join in and understand what happens. It always begins with you directing the flow and being seen. In my case, it’s a weekly newsletter where there are occasions that bring people together. The longer people are subscribed the more familiar they become and feel a part of the group. Be clear on how what you deliver is going to help us all connect. The rest will take care of itself.
People have to be ready on their terms
You can’t request the participation of others when the audience does not feel comfortable. People need to see the proof first and that you genuinely care. There is something to be said about having a track record. For instance, if you wanted to deliver a series of talks from guests you know, if they feel a part of the group it becomes easier to shape and produce something that can make an impact.
Amplify people having access to each other
This is why the in-person space is so important. I don’t believe that accepting a life behind a screen on Zoom calls is good, we need to be around others. When distance starts to play a role, boundaries are formed and no one wins. For instance, for the YATM Creator Day (in May), alongside the YATM in-person events, there is an encouragement for everyone to feel a part of the occasion, together. This helps to strengthen bonds with each other.
Make sure the spotlight is shared
When people feel listened to, encouraged to take part and a place to step up, everyone can rise up. It takes time to work out as it’s not something for everyone, but if you have created a space that has relevance and longevity it can heighten the role of others. This has got nothing to do with guest posting on your platform, but ways for others to lead and have their own slice of the cake.
Expertise grows and welcomes others
When people can see the value of getting involved and recognise others who are part of the same initiative, it can find momentum. For instance, YATM has brought to England others from around the world. If respected individuals are within the group, this makes the whole group stronger with a single identity. If the go-to people are part of the group, no one is a stranger.
Encouraging a collective effort works because you put emphasis on interaction and can get to a point where people want to get involved. This is completely separate from where every piece of effort and graft is from you.
Making the purpose personal is what can help you launch new ideas, develop initiatives and magnify the talents and skills of others. This makes participation within a group something worthwhile as great things can happen for everyone.
People need a reason to step up and get involved, but when they do it can elevate everything that is delivered. It’s down to you to open the doors, make others welcome and people feel at home.