posted 26 Apr 2007 in Volume 10 Issue 7
The Gurteen perspective
By David Gurteen
IT SEEMS to me that one of the key attributes of a successful knowledge worker is the ability to easily connect with people. People whom you can learn from, share knowledge with, collaborate with and get things done together.
Some time ago I received an e-mail via the Friends Reunited website from an old school friend whom I had not seen in 40 years. In it he told me all about his life and how successful he had been – he had started several companies, travelled the world and even been an advisor to the Labour Government and had visited 10 Downing Street.
Now, not wanting to pay to join Friends Reunited just so I could reply to him, I thought that if he was that successful I would just Google him.
He has an unusual name so it should have been a dead cert to find him. But it turned out he had no web presence whatsoever – strange. I have still not got back to him.
At the time, as an experiment, I tried to find a few other old business colleagues but it was impossible to find most of them via Google. I did a little better though searching the professional social networking site Linkedin.
Have you tried finding yourself on the web? If like me, you have an unusual name, then it may not be too difficult, but if your name is John Smith then it could be a bit trickier. But probably not so difficult if you combine your name say with the company you work for or some other attribute that makes you unique. I make it easy for people: try Googling ‘contact David Gurteen’ – the top hit is the contact page on my website.
But even for people you know it is not always easy to contact them. I cannot understand, given how easy it is to automatically append your contact details to your e-mail, why so few people do it. I have lost count of the number of times I have wanted to pick up the phone to reply to someone either because it was urgent or I preferred to have a conversation with them.
I have recently made it much easier for people to contact me. On each page of my website is a panel that includes my photo, who I am, a link to my contact details, my schedule, a nano-blog from Twitter that tells you what I am doing, my location and a Skype presence indicator!
For close friends and business contacts I also have two online calendars – one that provides details of where I am – right down to air flight number or hotel name. And another that is limited to dates and times when I will be in London to make it easy to arrange meetings. I even include a list of possible meeting places to make it even easier.
The bottom line is that I want people to be able to find me easily; connect with me easily and meet with me face-to-face wherever I am in the world – any place, any time. You might like to think to what extent this important to you and what you might do to make it easier for people to find and connect with you both within your organisation and without.
So don’t get lost – get found!
David Gurteen is the founder of the Gurteen Knowledge Community. He can be contacted at www.gurteen.com.