Cross Pollinating Verticals to avoid the Echo of the Chamber
So I bet you are asking yourself “what the hell does cross pollinating verticals mean you crazy crazy person you?” I am going to explain how it came about and why it has become part of my idea to strategy to planning to action taking mantra. Ok it did start out from a little snark and sass to address some of things I was seeing at conferences (mainly live feeds across the interwebs) and one off sessions with organizations across the web also.
Because my day job is somewhat, well actually totally not related to social media, marketing, advertising, recruiting, communication or external customer service. I take advantage of being connected to so many wonderful people that tweet out conference #hashtags, send livefeed links on their twitter, facebook, eventbrite, meetup and linkedin social feeds to get to some great information.
I started to notice in presentations and presenters language many many many big words being used to explain very simple everyday actions. The word honest turned into trustworthy, be yourself turned into authenticity, people turned into human capital, and the best open turned into transparency. I do believe people sometimes think if they use big words they are more credible, believable, and intelligence. I will agree it does show intelligence, but in a book smart way and not in a real world, street smart way. So having a little moment of rebellion I figured if I want to be consider a thought leader I better start putting some big words in my arsenal.
I know I know very 5th grade, but I thought let’s go with this and see where it goes. So I was at lunch with a couple of people (probably at The Newsroom) out came “Cross Pollinating Verticals” during a conversation. Of course I got the “What the hell does that mean?”, so I began explaining my perspective of what I was observing in presentations and conversations. Cross Pollinating Verticals is really the basic action of talking, asking, or meeting with people that are not in your organizational, professional, or skill set vertical. I do believe this also clearly articulates how I view my networking and professional development. I do believe if this path was explored more and more by people, it could start creating the systemic market and people changes we need for the future (sorry no data just a gut feel).
It seems that we spend too much time in our own industries and skill set or title. This is not bad thing, because yes you need to keep up on the trends, people, topics, regulations, legislation, technologies, and processes. The only drawback, focusing on your industry, you are only talking and interacting with people that agree or often have the same point of view as you. Now with the explosion of the social platforms you have complete access to information, people, and technologies to other people’s industries! The beauty of majority of people from every industry continually sharing publicly anyone can share in the conversation. This will only lead to enrich and enhance the conversation because you are getting it from the audience of your industry.
For example I follow many recruiters and human resource people on twitter. Many of the conversations are between people within the recruiter and human resource industry, which leads to many agreements and very little diversification of points of view. Well enter a non-recruiter or non-human resource industry person, me. I am their audience, I am the people they are trying to help, I am the people they are gently trying to manage, I am a person they should hear from…..right? This is unadulterated access to their constituency, right? That is what every industry that has an audience wants!
You can ask questions, have conversations, and beta new ideas, that is of course if they are interacting with their audience. I just used Recruiter and Human Resource vertical as an example, I jump into many verticals marketing, PR, communications, etc. I even have followed a twitter chat for Student Affairs for colleges and universities! So I encourage people while networking, viewing people to follow, having conversations, and posing questions look for people not within your industry, professional, or skill set vertical to really enhance your conversations, points of view, and “third box over” type thinking. Being that I love finding people not like myself, it has led to finding some real and enriching conversations about problems to be solved.
So next time when you are looking to follow a person, a conf hashtag, send request to someone on linkedin, or post a comment on a blog do it outside your designated vertical and see what happens! What would be even better if you came back and drop a note on this post to show others real world examples of this! That would mean you Cross Pollinated a Vertical!