You have a professional bandwidth. Did you realize that?
What is its breadth and depth? Amplitude and frequency?
The electronics definition of bandwidth is defined as the range of frequencies of a given band used for transmitting a signal. The popular definition of bandwidth refers to the mental capacity of an individual to deal with a particular situation.
- How well does your professional bandwidth allow you to efficiently, productively and profitably “handle” the demands of your job, each day? Each week, month and year?
- More importantly, how does the breadth and depth of your professional bandwidth allow you to grow, professionally?
Consider what your professional bandwidth allows you to accomplish. Are you limited or limitless? Does your bandwidth allow you to easily adapt, adopt and apply new ideas and concepts?
How does your professional bandwidth catalyze you to be relentlessly curious about creating new, innovative extraordinary client outcomes? Alternatively, do you avoid new ideas, processes or systems because they make you professionally uncomfortable?
Utilizing your professional bandwidth, more valuably, starts with a solid understanding of core skill sets you consistently bring to clients’ tables.
This understanding defines the difference between what you are capable of doing if you have to and what you really do well, no matter what. First, capture the skills, acumen, mindset and values which truly define who you are. Next, start to build upon those capabilities. Then, realize you have created the structural underpinning upon which to expand your professional bandwidth.
Otherwise, there’s a tendency to try to be all things, to all people, all of the time. First, where is the value in this generalist approach? Next, how does this tactic create extraordinary and enduring client experiences? You tell me.
When undifferentiated professional behavior is your norm, you send mixed signals all over the place. You attempt to attract, serve and retain any clients who pick up on your mixed signals. Over time, this habit and tactic create a real mixed-bag, customer base. Unfortunately, clients hardly have anything in common with one other, other than they do business with you.
When you try to serve everyone, you become less productive and profitable. From an operations perspective, there is skimpy consistency because projects are unrelated. Output represents a tactical piece-work mindset, rather than being part of an integrated, systems-based approach to serving clients.
The strongest signal you can send to targeted clients is focused, crystal clear, and capable of growth, expansion and sustainability.
What are you “known for” delivering to clients, consistently, innovatively, profitably? In which areas do you specialize?
Making the decision to define yourself, and your organization, within a specified bandwidth allows you to grow your expertise within that bandwidth. Not only that. You also align systems, processes and people around this expertise. In turn, the workforce becomes engaged and committed to delivering extraordinary client outcomes, based on their own aligned expertise.
As a result, clients perceive you as a go-to resource, expert and supplier for deliverables within your professional bandwidth. Consequently, your client base pivots, now comprised of customers requiring your expertise.
Instead of being all things to all people (and all RFPs), consider expanding your professional bandwidth based on expertise and core capabilities. A bold strategy instead of a complacent tactic. Something to ponder this week?
What are you waiting for? Take the next steps towards professional innovation.
Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of One Millimeter Mindset™ serves organizations as a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention, especially in challenging Industrial Internet of Things environments. Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association.