Who is your internal go-to resource or resources? You know. The people who have the right answers when you or your team hit a snag. And the folks with an endless network of currently unknown colleagues who have the capabilities – and answers – you seek.
Don’t know? Today is the perfect time to discover who they are. Because moving forward, you need each other more than ever.
For that matter, are you considered your colleagues’ internal go-to resource? The voice of your respective professional discipline? The person they seek when colleagues up and down and across your organization need to discover what really is going on.
Today is the perfect time to let them know who you are and where to find you. Mutually developing networks of internal go-to resources who target making a difference is a mission-critical strategy for cross-functional leadership.
Has this ever happened to you? Colleagues start asking you: “What do you think about this?” instead of “Can you do this or make this for me?”
That is your signal that you are an internal go-to resource. Since the first question places you firmly as a peer, regardless of job title, pay grade, level of education, generation and professional discipline. Thus, you are perceived as an innovator and contributing revenue-generator.
However, when the only question colleagues ask is the second question, then chances are you are regarded as order-taker rather than innovator. And your department is viewed as a cost-center.
How do you need to be regarded by internal colleagues? To make a difference and get everyone to where they really need to go, together.
When it becomes a matter of discovering your internal resources, consider your professional comfort level.
Some of you reading this post are just fine, thank you, remaining less visible, relevant and valuable throughout the organization. You take pride in hunkering down and executing the professional tools which define you. Especially today. Because executing those much-needed professional tools makes you feel comfortable amidst pandemic uncertainty. Even though lots of people in your organization are hunkered down, too. Executing those same tools and same skills each day.
Alternatively, you choose to reach out across the organization. To discover colleagues with skills, tools and curiosity you may not have, at least not now. And have those learning conversations, spirited debates and push-back, so you can leverage your critical thinking skills and professional tools. And make a difference: together.
In continuously seeking your network of internal go-to resources, you develop the courage to reach out to people who solve problems differently than you do.
Consider that these are currently nameless and faceless colleagues working in different professional disciplines. Perhaps functioning as manual workers rather than in knowledge workers. Or working in business units rather than operational ones.
No one hands you a playbook of internal go-to resources. Those of you who develop such a playbook understand that the first one millimeter step forward you take is completely up to you. And by combining courage, as well as critical thinking skills, the rewarding network you create is worth the risk of taking that first step forward, together. Because your professional trajectory is never quite the same, after you take that first step together. And then the next one millimeter step forward, together.
What do you choose to do today to make a difference, and not only to you? To get to where you need to go tomorrow and moving forward together.
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Engage me to present one of my One Millimeter Mindset ™ speaking programs, workshops or mastermind groups. Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
Babette Ten Haken translates across unprofitable and unproductive communication and collaboration disconnects between the business-operations continuum. She is a card-carrying STEM professional and left-brain thinker specializing in cross-functional leadership, new product development and professional innovation. Her One Millimeter Mindset™ virtual and in-person speaking programs get everyone to where they need to go, together: one millimeter at a time. Optimize strategic business and human capital value in your organizations. Build trust to retain employees and clients co-invested in each other’s success. Her playbook of cross-functional tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here.
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