This morning at the end of a meeting, my supervisor told me something that took a few hours to sink in. It went something like this:
I want you to know that this campus is your laboratory. Try out all of your ideas. Share the ups and downs with the world. Teach others how to do what you’re doing, and allow them to learn from your mistakes.
If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I tend to share a lot of information about what I do at UW-Waukesha, particularly when it comes to Facebook advertising. I fall just short of publishing our entire budget and strategy, but I’m happy to share the tactics that work, and those that haven’t. As I kick off the 2012-2013 academic year, I’ll be engaging in social business planning with the entire campus, and I also plan to share what happens (the positive and negative) in this space.
I know that some campuses would feel like I’m sharing “trade secrets” or wouldn’t want me to publish results until I’m sure they’re successful. I’m grateful that is not the case. Even further, I’m empowered by my supervisor’s faith in my ability to experiment. I don’t need to jump through a series of administrative hoops to try a new idea, as long as I’m reasonably sure it will contribute to one of our institutional goals.
This is what work should be like. Employees should be empowered to be innovative and share their ideas with others, thus enhancing the creativity of the entire profession. I’m glad that at this moment, I have the chance to do that.
Do you treat your office like a laboratory? Has it helped you grow your expertise?