Learning from Work in Multiple Jurisdictions
It is important to assess where we are, where we have been and where we are going. This time of year naturally leads us to those thoughts. At the risk of being cliché, I welcome the opportunity to think about what worked well with the Greater Washington, DC network in 2012 and what we might do differently in 2013.
Multiple jurisdictions require a unique approach whether it is town, county and state or two states and a federal district. I think my most important take-aways of 2012 focus on how to work within the multiple jurisdictions.
There will be extra time spent to develop contacts in each of the jurisdictions since there is not one point person. I always start the conversation, whether a first-time conversation or someone I have met before, with a review of who I have spoken with in their community recently and what I know about existing projects. You will be surprised that you may be the one “closing the loop” and updating them with project information they did not know.
Follow Up Consistently
This is especially important in a new relationship. Checking in on a specific project or a friendly “hello” helps to build the relationship and shows you are a reliable partner. It also helps to keep the ball moving on any joint projects. I also find this helpful because since I do not come from a specific jurisdiction, people are sometimes unsure how to fit me into their scope of work. Follow-up discussions allow them to talk about current projects and allow me to give examples of how I can help.
Never Pass on an Opportunity
It is true you may end up in a meeting where the information is not quite pertinent to your work or there is not a good fit. However, more than likely, you will gain some useful information whether it is another contact or opportunities to speak directly with a person you usually only talk with on the phone. Talk to everyone you can and always follow leads given to you by others. Not every conversation will result in an immediate action item but that is one more person who knows about your work and one more person that could help you in the future.
I expect big things out of 2013 and wish you a successful year as well! To keep up with the Greater Washington, DC network check out our regional website.