Sharing knowledge and taking time to listen
A couple of weeks ago, one of my friends was imploring me to watch some or all of the Marvel franchise of movies which, for some reason, I have a complete aversion to. Despite 20 years of friendship and similar tastes in music, travelling, books and sport, it rapidly became clear that there was only one film that we could both agree was great. The 1980s film Ghostbusters, repeated on TV every single Christmas through our respective childhoods, was the point at which we could agree on a hundred years of cinematic output. Spoiler alert…only through working together and pooling their ideas and efforts do they defeat the giant marshmallow man and save the city/world/universe. We both saw a little of ourselves in very different characters and through his eyes I saw different things about a film I have probably watched a dozen times (the early 90s weren't awash with streaming services).
It is easy to be cynical about the concept of being stronger together, but in practice we all know it is true. Wherever we are in the organisation we cannot do the jobs we do without support, help, guidance and information from other people. My teams will currently be concerning themselves that I will want to rebrand us as the Ghostbusters but the reality is that I am fortunate to work with so many talented and capable people in my team and across the whole council, from our apprentices, our graduates right through to those with an encyclopedic knowledge of the council over the last forty years and everyone in between. All of those people have knowledge and a different perspective that when shared brings about better outcomes than if we all just went it alone. The old saying about an effective team being greater than the sum of its parts is true.
I've been with KCC for quite a while now and one of the significant upsides of the last year has been the way in which the whole organisation has created, collaborated and innovated through sharing knowledge. There isn't a monopoly on good ideas and we need to continually challenge ourselves to be open to learning from each other in a collegiate and supportive way. It is vital that we don't stop now and remain stronger together through sharing knowledge. Through sharing knowledge and taking time to listen we become stronger as individuals, as teams and as an organisation. That can only bring improved outcomes and services for our residents at the same time.
If you can use what you know to support others but also keep your mind open to the knowledge and experience of others, you and your career could thrive with us.