When you have a project or an issue in front of you that you don't know how/where to start on - what's your approach?
I like to think in terms of sets of people.
- People I work closely with. This is usually the first place we start. We look at the people around us, ask a question across the room or throw an idea out there for a response.
- People I know in the organisation. Not in my direct team but people
- People spread more widely in the organisation.
- People I know outside the organisation.
- People I don't know at all. This is the best bit. By belonging to groups and asociations you can gain access to people's contacts and details with ease. One great example of this is LinkedIn and another is Twitter. With LinkedIn you can look at your friends friends and try and source an answer that way. The other more informal network I use is Twitter. What you can do is tweet a question, hash-tag (#) a particular word for emphasis and see what the Twitter universe throws back at you in the way of an answer.
I love throwing out emails to random people whom I have never met and have no idea about who they are or what they do. Sometimes the results can be simply amazing.