Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Executive Factor

Ever wondered how it’s possible to add value through the work you do to an organisation, another person or indeed yourself?  Whether we’re permanent staff or have a bit more flexibility in our employment options it can be frustrating to watch as our ability to create and deliver valuable work is inhibited or stopped by the barriers erected or entrenched positions taken by others. It’s one thing for an organisation to have an appetite for getting things done, it’s quite another for them to actually enable it.

Which is how a recent conversation with a colleague of mine in the USofA kicked off.  Rob Schachter, of RBS Consulting, and I first connected on LinkedIn, as you do, and have been volleying our theories and experiences across the Atlantic for some months. The one significant thing we agree on is that Executives who give a damn make the difference to the work of change agents and whether that work will be a success or failure. Yes that’s right, they give a damn. They give a damn about getting stuff done. They get out of the way so others can do what they do best, and they care about how that stuff fits in to the bigger picture.

This post is a snapshot of our conversation. It shows how working with and for an Executive (sponsor or otherwise) who gives a damn makes for a positive work experience where value is palpable. Following are some of the lessons, principles and good (what’s best today may not be valid tomorrow) practices we derived from our experiences for the benefit of others seeking to succeed with their initiatives.