The way I responded to a young woman a few years ago shocked her so much that you’d have thought I slapped her in the face.
This was back in the days when I was in a tech coworking space. A few different types of content people worked there. One of them was a young woman in her 20s who was doing the fabulous thing of venturing out on her own in business.
The kitchen of the coworking space was so small that you didn’t have room in it to swing a cat. This young woman saw me making a cup of tea, and stood near the doorway to have a chat.
As we walked back to our shared desk area together, she started asking me some questions.
One of them was pretty well: Will you teach me how you do what you do you?
I stopped and stared at her. ‘Are you kidding me?’ I dropped, bluntly.
She looked confused. ‘What?’
Putting my cup of tea down on the nearest table, I said to her, ‘Why would I do that?’
She started waxing lyrical about mentoring and co-creation, and collaboration. I waved my hand at her to shut her up.
‘Haaang on,’ I interrupted. ‘That’s not co-creation, or collaboration. And it’s not mentoring or coaching. That is me showing a competitor how to beat me in the market.’
She was miffed. ‘No it’s not,’ she said. ‘It’s collaborating and sharing knowledge so that we can all be stronger.’
I laughed at how naïve she was, at how she’d misconstrued the idea of “collaboration”. ‘Er, no it isn’t. That’s me giving you my secret sauce. No way.’
Collaboration is when a group of people unite to put their efforts into the same project.
Co-creation is when you bring two different types of interested parties together (like your team and your customers) to produce something that is of value to both groups.
Knowledge sharing is any activity that allows people to share information, skills, or expertise. It’s a moment of education.
Your organisation can benefit from all three, particularly when it comes to your production calendar.
Populating a production calendar isn’t about just sitting in a room and dreaming up topics around which to manufacture content. All that will do is get you a bunch of things nobody cares about.
The process involves drawing on the skills, knowledge, information, and expertise of others; getting a group of people to apply their creative efforts to the publishing output as a whole; and working with your customers in some way so you know that you’re going to produce something that is both useful and valuable for both parties.
That’s why this kind of work is a wholistic activity. Communications or marketing people sitting in ivory towers do great work. Just not impactful work. You need sales, service, product/service design, management, and the people on the tools, all involved in this stuff.
Production calendars are the heartbeat of your publishing business, and not just because they help you to see what’s next. They draw together all the critical parts of your business, and give you the mechanism by which to pump material out to all of its limbs and keep it warm.
Want more info about getting one in place? Go to https://brutalpixie.com/production-calendar.
As for the girl I mentioned? She gave up on her business and moved to another city.
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