If your goal is to lead strategically, consider the value of repeatedly seeking new jobs that keep you working in departmental silos. New job. New silo. Same old thing.
Depending on your organization’s size, these silos can be big. Yet no matter how far you “travel” to collaborate cross-functionally, you never leave the silo you operate within.
What is the impact of these repetitive professional experiences, if you want to leverage cross-functional experiences to lead tomorrow and moving forward?
When you prepare to lead strategically, you are more discerning about creating opportunities to observe and learn from cross-functional colleagues.
As a result, you discover and prioritize the cross-functional opportunity of each project, program and portfolio opportunity. Not only for you, but also for team members, employers, and clients.
Otherwise, it is comfortable to engage in the wear-wash-rinse-repeat requirements of fulfilling job functions and KPIs. As a result, the repetitive nature of executing discipline-specific tools reinforces a tactical mindset, rather than a strategic one.
Can you evaluate your current – or future – professional environment to identify cross-functional, strategic leadership opportunities? When you develop these criteria, and the questions to ask, you allow others to help you open new doors. Contact me today to liberate yourself from continuing to work in departmental silos.
Not everyone targets learning to lead strategically. And that is OK.
If you are comfortable remaining in an order-taker role within a department perceived as a cost-center, that is your superpower. Carry on. There are plenty of mid-career professionals who are excellent “doers” and “fixers”. That is why they are hired: their professional skill sets and tool sets. And that is why their departments are filled with a homogeneous group of professionals wielding the same skills and tools. And, quite frankly, as you learn to lead strategically, you are going to select the best of these folks to be part of your cross-functional teams. So everyone gets to where they really need to go, together.
However, what happens when this linear trajectory is not for you, regardless of generation, education, or skills? What happens when you see your current job function as a step towards strategic leadership in a non-linear sequence?
Then you want to move one millimeter beyond what is known and what is comfortable. Consequently you view the repetitive nature of daily tasks as limiting rather than a growth opportunity. The answer to what is new and next lies outside the horizons of your department, current job, and perhaps your current professional discipline.
Continuously working in silos does not prepare you to lead strategically.
However, when you expand hidden opportunities offered within each silo, you grow not only your leadership skill sets. You grow your leadership mindset, as well. Are you ready to take these next steps to get to where your really need to go, together with me?
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
Babette Ten Haken is a refreshingly extroverted STEM professional and skeptical thinker focused on intentional innovation. She helps people, teams and organizations make hard calls when designing products, services, careers and cultures. These are not easy conversations to have. Her ability to translate cross-functional conversations between left-brain and right-brain thinkers provides different pathways for behavior, response, insight and collaboration. Think of the strategic business and human capital value of moving beyond avoidance or group-think, together. Instead, let your creativity, critical thinking, and leadership skills co-develop together, one millimeter at a time. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock