Lesson 2: One Point of Contact

Luke MysseOne Point Of Contact

That was my second lesson learned from going large.

This seems like a no-brainer, but enforcing the “one point of contact” rule with a larger
project/client can be a little tricky.

Maybe it’s due to the complexity of the project or just the nature of the client’s organization. But no matter the size, having everything go through one person can make things easier. That being said, keep the following in mind:

Let them be heard
I think people resist the idea of “one point of contact” because they want to be heard. When people get stressed due to a crunched timeline, their insecurities surface. They feel like if they don’t have their fingers on everything, something will get dropped.

I think it’s possible for people to be heard without micro-managing. Having  someone on the project that can serve as a filter for ideas can be helpful. If someone who isn’t your point of contact gives you a call, listen to their feedback, assure them that you will consider their idea and then gently remind them that all feedback should go through the project lead. This approach should limit the number of voices shouting at you.

Don’t play politics
The rumors are true; large companies have an amazing ability to build a very political environment, sometimes without even trying. It was important for me to denounce this behavior at every chance I got. Call it my personal mission or just good business, but I made it a point to speak up every time someone on the project tried to make a political move.

How? First, by sharing that I wanted no part in what was happening. Second, by providing what I thought was a solution. This allowed all parties to share ideas without creating multiple leaders on the project.

What have been your experiences with working for large companies? How have you dealt with politics – with clients large and small – in the past?

Be on the lookout for lesson 3 tomorrow.

For more from Luke, check out his webinar, Which Hat Are You Wearing Today?, on March 16, 2011.