Power of the 3rd Party

A surefire method to break myself out of a productivity rut is by finding some way to get third party pressure or reinforcement. Having someone or something help prod me along or complete a portion of the work is sometimes exactly what I need.

Using a third party has also been incredibly impactful in areas where I need to get something done that might not be exactly what I love doing or am best at. Here are some examples of third party pressure or reinforcement I’ve used:

  • Announcing public deadlines
  • Working directly with someone else
  • Hiring someone else to work with me on a project
  • Working in a more open environment where people see what I’m working on
  • Telling people I respect about what I’m doing.
  • And, I love this example of hiring someone to watch how the person was working.

I’ve used sites like upwork and fiverr to find people who love doing the part of the work I might not. Sure, I do plenty of things that I’d love to source smarter, but having the knowledge of how to and following through on getting some things done in alternate ways really helps maximize my productivity.

 What’s the thing you’re working on right now that could use the help of someone else?

Beg Forgiveness Cards

Getting your team to believe that failure is an option or that taking prudent risks are OK is sometimes hard.  Most people in a work environment are trained to believe that things need to work out correctly all the time.

If you’re trying to get your team to live into the phrase “beg forgiveness rather than ask permission” maybe you can help accelerate their adoption of this with “Beg Forgiveness Cards.”

Think of little business cards that simply say “I took a risk and it didn’t work out. I am begging for forgiveness.”

Give out 2 or 3 to your team per year as a way to signal that they have a free pass to try something they think is risky, even if it does fail.  Maybe even include a line on the back like “and the thing I learned was ______.”

This shows that even when someone messes something up they can learn from it as well. After some time, you can display the collected cards for everyone to see what was learned and increase the overall risk tolerance of your group.

What other types of cards could people use at your office?  What could this little piece of “permission” unlock in your organization?