By Mike Klein on March 28, 2022
3 minute read

Superconnection: “The Ability To Identify, Connect And Ignite Relationships In Organizations And Communities That Can Drive Mutual Enrichment And Value”

Over the last six months, I’ve been exploring the implications of remote work, the emergence of remote-first work, and the increased remote dispersion of employees in otherwise office-based companies.

This exploration is still in its early stages: it’s based on some initial research, and my own experience as a remote communication consultant. 

Yet, strong signals point towards “superconnection” as both a critical success factor for organizations with substantial remote activity, and as a crucial competence for communication professionals working in remote-heavy environments.

One thing that’s becoming apparent: the more dispersed and disconnected a workforce becomes, the more effort and initiative that’s going to be required to connect it.  This will require organizations to find or develop “superconnectors” to maximize the value of talent and accelerate decision-making, innovation and integration.

Superconnectors: Made Not Born

The good news is that learning the art and science of superconnection is fully within the realm of possibility for any organization, and indeed, any individual within the organization.

The key distinction of superconnection is that it builds on the willingness of individuals to identify and make potentially beneficial introductions between others who would not normally connect in the course of their normal routine. By using their knowledge and relationships to make introductions, superconnectors can alter the course and performance of their companies.

During my time in-house, for instance, I personally initiated numerous connections, especially to introduce new leaders to colleagues who could quickly empower them in their new roles. Indeed, considering the impact some of those introductions would prove to have, this may have been the single most value-additive part of my in-house experience.

Superconnection differs markedly from traditional networking, where the main goal is for individuals to make lots of contacts for their own use.  It involves specific, repeatable activities and practices, which can include:

  • Setting a numeric target of the number of introductions one should make in a given time period: day, week, month, year
  • Regularly identifying and assessing which people would be worth introducing to each other
  • Connecting with new hires and identifying the people who could form the most efficient networks for their initial activities
  • Establishing a discipline of making at least one introduction in every call with a colleague

Above all, superconnection requires the willingness and ability to initiate connections, along with the correct level of judgment about when and how to initiate connections and how to put each side of the connection into the appropriate context for the other.  

Why Are Communication Pros Uniquely Suited To Use This Superpower?

As communication functions are among the few in corporate life with truly integrative perspectives, communication pros, and particularly, internal communicators develop a sense around the talents, needs and temperaments of the people they interview and follow, and can easily make connections that cross geographic and functional lines.  

In increasingly dispersed office-based organizations, the ability to make relevant and productive connections that cross borders and connect key people in different silos and organizational tribes becomes more and more relevant. 

In fully remote-first organizations, this ability becomes even more prized as the normal channels and opportunities for people to meet naturally give way to more structured online conversations and less frequent, if more intense, in-person gatherings.  

And in increasingly diverse organizations at any degree of dispersion, superconnectors can also help significantly by reaching across the organization’s cultural, racial and generational differences, discover what is stopping people from interacting in the way the company would wish them to interact, and facilitate more introductions and better integration.

Superconnection Is Not New

Superconnection is not new.  What is new is the extent to which organizations could drift into extreme siloization and disconnection without it, and the extent to which knowledge, power and commercial opportunities can flow more smoothly and creatively once it is added to the mix.

It’s also an area where I have been active for years, co-leading sessions with expert and author Lin McDevitt-Pugh at the 2017 IABC EuroComm conference in London and at  IABC’s World Conference that year in Washington.  It is also a key driver of my #WeLeadComms initiative, an effort to give communication leaders visibility of each other across geographies, specialties and generational barriers.

As communication professionals, we have far more scope to make a difference than by just telling and retelling stories.  By intervening, creating and catalyzing new relationships, we indeed have the power to change the script, and therefore, to change the future. That’s what makes superconnection a superpower, and what makes the superconnector a tangible, “ninja” asset to an organization.


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BLOG POST TAGS: Comms Strategy Internal communications Internal Comms super power superconnection comms power remote era

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