Schedule a Call

Ideas Belong to Everyone and to No One

Dec 18, 2023

 by Vern Schellenger, CEO Contacts Count


In a Fast Company article, author Leo Babauta describes the process of idea generation at Pixar Animation Studios.  “When Pixar artists create characters, it’s not a matter of one artist sketching out how he thinks a character should look. They all sit around a table, each drawing ideas, putting them in the middle, and others taking those ideas and riffing off them. Dozens and dozens of sketches come out from this process, until they find the one that works best. Everyone’s creativity builds on the creativity of everyone else.  Even if you don’t have a bunch of other geniuses to work with – find others who are creating cool things, and riff off them, and share your riffs.”  

This is a good description of how The Network-Oriented Workplace™ works, too. 

What is a network-oriented workplace?  Organizations create a Network-Oriented Workplace by creating a culture that is focused on continuous improvement and collaboration. They hire and train all staff to recognize the value of networking and building relationships throughout the company.  Cross functional teams are often used to solve problems, build new products and programs.

In our book, Strategic Connections – The New Face of Networking in a Collaborative World we describe how our 8 competencies can be used to train employees to embrace building relationships with others throughout the organization. 

 Whether you’re trying to streamline the hiring process, invent new ways to work with vendors, or revamping your process of attracting new clients, it’s smart to adopt the belief that ideas are abundant and spring up faster when you connect, converse, and collaborate with others. 

When you work in an organization, no matter now big or small, all your fellow employees can become part of your network.  And building a relationship with a fellow co-worker is made easier by the fact you have a big part of your life that is common to both of you.  We have a term in Contacts Count that we call "choice points".  Every day we have choices about whether to connect with other people.  We can choose to connect, or we can choose not to connect.  We believe in the power of human connection.  So, we believe you should choose to connect whenever possible.

Do you make the choice to say hello and introduce yourself to a fellow employee when you are walking to the office from the parking lot?   After a virtual meeting do you choose to reach out to someone on the call who you would like to learn more about what they do?


Send me your stories about the relationships you have made at work and how they have benefitted you – I will highlight them in an upcoming newsletter – [email protected]



About the Author

Vern Schellenger, President and CEO of Contact Count.

Contacts Count is the premier coaching and training organization dedicated to helping you use the power of human connection to transform your career, business, and life.

Vern is dedicated to empowering professionals and entrepreneurs with the strategies, skills and tools to master networking (even if they are introverted and don’t like networking events).

What drives me is a steadfast commitment to enriching lives through the profound power of human connection. I am devoted to instructing individuals on how to engage in networking that not only fosters trust-based, mutually advantageous relationships but also profoundly influences both their professional and personal spheres. This is where my heart truly lies, in the realm of human relationships and the transformative impact they hold. Every moment that allows me to contribute positively to another's journey fills me with immense gratitude and fuels my passion even further.




Discover tweaks you can make to your networking approach that will help you dramatically improve your skills and reduce the time it’ll take to find that person who has the power to hire you!