Andrew Dietz is Founder and President of Creative Growth Group, Inc., a business development firm that exclusively helps professional service organizations sharpen growth strategies, enhance client development capabilities, and implement marketing and business development initiatives.

Thomas Edison had a unique approach to spark collegiality and connectivity across his enterprise.  After his regular workday and dinner with his family, he would return to the lab to check on key experiments.  He encouraged others who stayed late to share their work with each other.  These these work sharing sessions turned into storytelling, sing-a-longs fueled by food and drink that Edison brought in from a nearby tavern. The sessions took on the moniker, “Midnight Lunch.” 

Mike Santoro, President of Walker Sands, cultivates shared vision and shared experience with his team through meals together, going to local events and other group activities.  “As a leader, I work very hard at sharing where the agency is headed and what we’re trying to accomplish.  Sometimes it’s identifying a very task oriented focus.  Other times it is engaging the team in the longer term vision like figuring out what this emergence of social media means for our clients,” Mike said.        

Jim Signorelli, author of the book StoryBranding, added that story-telling is not only a critical tool to help those outside your organization understand and connect with your brand, its equally important for rallying the team around a collaborative mission.  He recommends that we infuse the stories we tell with meaning and inspiration – not just facts – about our firm’s reason for being.

This post is part of a series recapping the event, Creating Collaborative Advantage: How To Get Fiercely Independent Professionals To Collaborate For The Benefit Of Each Other, Their Firm and Their Clients hosted by SilverEdge, along with its partners Deltek and Creative Growth Group. Stay tuned for more advice from the event.