Sometimes Your Intentions Just Don’t Matter
“There’s a common saying that if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person. While there is truth to this, it’s also a very unhealthy dynamic that will eventually burn out those who can never resist the next challenge, while underutilizing many others who have a great deal to offer, but are a little more reticent in stepping up to the plate.
We see it every day. With every new business pitch, internal project or event it’s always the same few people jump in and get involved. Those who do participate inevitably get noticed and ultimately learn some great things they wouldn’t have otherwise. They also end up having a lot of fun working outside of their day-today roles. …
Essentially, by simply asking for volunteers, we created a system that appealed only to the ‘Type A’ personality. This not only left behind a group that would have dived in immediately had they only been asked, it also created a perception of favoritism. This could not have been further from the truth, or more harmful to our culture.
Going forward, we will be much more aggressive to ensure we communicate exactly what’s going on to the entire agency, and more actively directly solicit involvement from everyone rather than just waiting for trusty ‘usual’ volunteers.”