Enrollment: The Catalyst to Your Idea

We just sent off cohorts R and S off to sea as they graduated from our Studio/E at the Hill program. Day Four of this year-long program is all about enrollment, or bringing people on board with your idea because you have identified an overlap with their desire. We explore this competency at the Studio through the lens of Ernest Shackleton, the great navigator who enlisted a crew of 28 to venture into the unknown with him.

But the crew weren’t the only folks Shackleton had to enroll. Most importantly, Shack had to enroll himself. Only after that job was done could he work on enrolling his family, funders and all the rest of the people that made the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition possible.

It’s important to note — enrollment is very different from selling. Selling is about transactions while enrollment is about interactions. Think of it like this: selling is just the facts. The who, what, where, when and why. Enrolling, on the other hand, has color. It is a story with more than one storyteller.

When working on your idea, ask yourself who could make it better (nobody ever did anything great alone). Who could add to your idea because it overlaps with their desire? And don’t forget to speak to your enrollee’s energy. If they are introverted and empathetic and you’re bubbly and loud, tone it down a notch before you begin enrolling.

Enrollment is the catalyst to launching an idea. Bringing people along on your journey will not only make the process more enjoyable, but it will act as an accelerator. If you are working on something — a business idea, an org restructure or new rules you want to introduce into your home — be sure to bring the right people on board. And you do that by enrolling, not selling.

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