Taking a boots on the ground perspective, does your definition of professional progress focus on chasing “something”? That “something” may be:
- Meeting your organization’s KPIs;
- Reducing the number of billable hours per project;
- Decreasing machine downtime and scheduled maintenance;
- Increasing manufacturing efficiency;
- Closing more high value contracts;
- You get the picture.
I’m exhausted reading that list, aren’t you? What’s the ONE THING you notice about that list? Read it again.
First of all, this list is all about Them (whoever They are). As a result, professional forward progress is based on some type of external measure of you, your team and your organization. Consequently, someone else is keeping score of a game. Often, it is a game whose rules seem to change, continuously.
Consequently, professional progress becomes paralyzed.
Far too often, individuals feel like under-appreciated commodities within an under-hired workforce. However, organizations who truly are poised to reach the next level walk their talk. As a result, enlightened leadership and management realize the value of workforce engagement, rather than employee churn.
So, just what type of organization do you work for or lead? Is a strategic professional progress pathway crystal clear or, alternatively, out of control?
Be poised to reach the next level of professional progress by being in charge of You.
How many times have you heard management or leadership tell you: “We are poised to reach the next level.” Gee, this phrase is stereotypical, self-serving and, most of the time, naïve and myopic, as well. Ouch!
To be honest, when I hear those words coming out of my clients’ mouths, a Big Red Flag is raised. I’m skeptical about their self-assessment. As a customer or employee, you should be skeptical, as well. Here’s why.
In order to truly be poised for the next level, each member of the workforce must have a clear sense of their professional contributions to the “Next Level of Whatever”.
After all, professional progress happens because of an engaged workforce of innovators, not order-takers. Within that scenario, individuals, teams, managers and leaders arrive at a clear sense of where everyone fits into:
- Tested processes;
- Excellent product/service fit; and
- A ready-and-waiting marketplace.
Do you take an active or passive role fulfilling each of these professional progress elements? Frequently, answering that question gives clients reason for pause.
Without any of these essential components of professional progress, individuals, teams and organizations become paralyzed by inefficiency.
Being poised to get to the next level doesn’t happen spontaneously. How would you rate your individual, team and organization’s current efforts on the following?
We had a good quarter myth.
First, individuals, teams and organizations get a false sense of security as a result of having a good quarter or even a good year, financially. How many times have you believed these numbers? However, you subsequently become paralyzed by indecision when the numbers are unsustainable, quarter after quarter.
We thrive in tactical fire-fighting mode.
Then, the journey of a signed contract throughout its time in-house and out the door may resemble a scavenger hunt. Do you assume all is well until clients tell you that, no, by the way, things are a mess? What price do you pay for being less-than proactive?
Business reality actually is fantasy.
In addition, profit and loss calculations may be faulty, omitting (unconsciously or intentionally) important factors which erode profitability. Are you poised to calculate the profit and loss of your individual contributions to this organizational equation? Or are you paralyzed because you haven’t taken the time to capture your professional value?
Professional progress leverages a collaborative workforce strategy.
Be honest with yourself. Do you feel like an under-appreciated commodity in an under-hired workforce? That is not a good place to be. After all, professional progress prepares everyone to get to the next level of professional innovation and career development.
Organizations who truly are poised to reach the next business level value a proactive workforce hiring strategy which consistently targets customer success for customer retention.
After all, organizations are made up of individuals.
Individuals work together, whether professionally motivated and engaged, or not. The resulting client outcomes either are remarkable and enduring, or not. Customers become more successful as a result of doing business with you, your team and your organization, or not.
Are you in charge of Your Role in this equation? Where do you fit into this scenario: worker, manager, leader? What is your next move towards professional progress? Click on this link and let’s discuss some options.
Babette Ten Haken is a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker. She serves organizations as a strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer success for customer retention. Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.