Crowdsourcing your projects

There are rare organizations where there are no bosses to tell you what to do.

In those companies, you have to look for a person or a team in need of help with a project that interests you. Or, you have to start your own project and attract others to join your team*.

I don’t work for such an organization, and chances are you don’t either. However, I recently borrowed this concept of crowdsourcing my projects. I create an email describing a project and its goal, and I send it to my contacts in related functions (like Communications or HR) and/or to my contacts in the business units. My ask is simple: would you, or someone on your team, like to join this project?

So far, I’ve had more volunteers than I need on all of my projects. Those who join are truly interested in the outcome. They weren’t voluntold. They share a specific problem and they believe that my project can help resolve it.

One or two groups stand out by never responding to the call for volunteers. But I keep sharing updates, giving them a chance to speak up or join at any time.

We can always use our authority to staff our projects. But using our leadership is much more satisfying, for everyone involved.


Valve is one such organization. Its new employee handbook is a fascinating read.

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