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  • Why You Want a Low Bus Coefficient

    The fastest way to get a promotion is to have a Low Bus Coefficient.

    Of course, there are other less seemly and perhaps unethical ways to get promotions. But, for most people in the modern work world the fastest way to get promotions is to share what you know.

    “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein

    The point of this post is to think about how you are sharing your knowledge and how you can be more intuitive in the way you share. When you can share more you can and will Stand Out in Your Career.

    In a sense sharing is a soft skill. Albeit a skill we should have learned in kindergarten, but a skill that too many have been taught to unlearn as they have grown older and into more “competitive” situations.

    • Are there times to keep confidences? Absolutely.
    • Are there times to share what you know? Absolutely.

    In order to stand out in your career you will want to find a way to balance these two factors and in the process you will lower your bus coefficient.

    Bus Factor and Lottery Factor

    These are also terms used to describe a Low Bus Coefficient. Where the idea is … if you walked out the door and were hit by a bus (or won the lottery) what would happen to what you know?

    This is not an indictment against you … it’s just a way to think about why you should share what you know.

    Exercise for the Reader – Take 1 minute:
    Think: WHAT would happen if you weren’t there tomorrow?

    Let’s Talk About The How

    One way is to have what I call The One Folder Transition Plan or the OFTP. I wrote about this idea I learned from a friend that was deployed in the Persian Gulf back in the early 90’s.

    The model was as simple as it was elegant. Having a OFTP might sound cynical and perhaps may seem to imply the worst is going to happen, but that was not the intent. The intent was to insure the mission could continue in the absence of a key player.

    In order for your team and your projects to continue it would be a good idea for you to create your OFTP and to ask each team member to do the same.

    For more on creating an OFTP see this post I wrote 4 years ago. And, yes, things that are important do have a tendency to come back around and to the forefront. This is the nature of business and life.

    Plan for your Low Bus Coefficient. Use your intuition to think about what should be shared and if in doubt … ask someone for a Sharing Check.

    Sharing Check – To get a check on whether the information you are sharing is valuable, actionable and reasonable.

    Sharing is Caring

    It’s so easy to share today that it’s almost criminal not to share.

    Whether you use old school paper and pencils or whether you use tools like Enterprise Social Networks, Public Social Networks, Internal Networks or whatever your preferred documentation tool … it’s never been easier.

    In this day and age it’s too easy not to share things you know. Between enterprise social networks (ESN’s) which capture a lot of information behind the scenes inside of corporate firewalls and of course public social networks where everything and anything might be shared.

    Another way to look at sharing and why you, your colleagues, and your company (this is especially true for entrepreneurs) need to think about your Bus Coefficient and how to make sure your keep it as low as possible.

    Companies do break! Most companies work very hard to ensure customer continuity and care when it comes to sales and services.
    Read: There is No Free Lunch

    The Career Benefit of an LCB

    Having a Low Bus Coefficient makes it much more likely that you will be perceived as knowing your business (because you documented it); and it it massively increases your chances of promotion (because you are showing you are ready); and having an LCB shows that you know how to put your skills in motion – which means your can take on bigger projects and have a larger impact on everything you do.

    From an optimistic perspective:
    Imagine you were just promoted or allowed to hire new staff member for your team.

    Use your Intuition and seek to have a very Low Bus Coefficient – Your career will thank you.

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    Jeff is an expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2. He is currently consulting with Microsoft and partners to drive Community Engagement and Alliances. Follow him on Twitter @jshuey or on LinkedIn: in/JeffShuey

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