Gather intelligence and ask for user ideas and input at every opportunity – informal conversations, registration desks at meetings, phone conversations and so on. Your customer research doesn’t always have to be formal or costly
Share ideas (while acknowledging colleagues’ contributions) – don’t reinvent the wheel with a report or idea which other colleagues or organisations have used or developed (note that this is more difficult to do in the private sector but is encouraged in public service)
Don’t be hidebound by job titles and protocol. Ask people for help or to join your projects where they can be of assistance. Cultivate allies and people you can work with as you find them, not just as they present themselves to you. If the “accepted” way of working doesn’t work for you, find a way that does – at least until someone stops you and tells you off! At the same time, if people who are supposed to be helping you don’t come through, don’t waste time making them help if you can find another way or bypass them altogether. The very fact a particular colleague is not acknowledged on a piece of work is likely to speak volumes about them in any case.
Surprise people by presenting ideas in a different way (for example, in otherwise formal meetings, using differently formatted reports, workshops instead of formal presentations, posing questions to work through in discussion in small groups). You are likely to find that they will react in a different way to you, and work with you more productively.
Thanks to St Albans City & District Council for these suggestions