Circles of Change:Conversations with Dr. Zara Larsen on Change Leadership and Career Fulfillment
May 27, 2008 "Changing in Place:Making the Most of Where You Are" “Changing in Place:Making the Most of Where You Are”
Guiding Principles and Perspectives:
Career progression does not necessarily mean promotion; in fact, some of the best moves are at your current level – lateral assignments within your same function or major program to broaden your perspectives of the organization and its products, services, customers and the associated employees’ roles.
Action:Be open to and search out moves that broaden yourperspectives, company network and develope new skills.
Sometimes it is very hard to “go back” and pick up a skill or set of perspectives missed due to advancement, the skipping of which can hurt you in the long run.
Action:Take the lead of those before you.Fill your toolbox with realexperiences.Get on the front lines.
Career advancement can be more about “leading and living across”, in particular given these days of virtual organizations, matrices and teams, as opposed to just managing up and down.
Action:Special projects to tackle a critical business issue, committeesto serve the community on behalf of the firm, or processimprovement initiatives with peers build interaction muscle.
If your assignments have been in a single function, consider a cross-functional move; if within one major program or business unit, go cross-program or at minimum, take on a new role within the same program.
Action:Where are the hottest, most difficult assignments in the firmnot just today, but you predict will surface tomorrow
Some of the most valuable players in an organization often speak the language of both internal and external customers.
Action:If your assignments have been outward facing (customer), rotate to an inward facing (internal firm operation) role and vice a versa. Consider how to periodically shadow a respected colleague "on the other side",offering him/her to join you.
Special two year, multiple assignment rotations programs can be a great investment for the future, provided the work is “real work” with deliverables, and not perceived as just passive training.Be wary of sponsorship support and the off-boarding process.
Action:Consider how to develop a custom program with a mentor, sponsor, and/or supervisor, unique to your learning needs andinterests – in-job expansion with investment value to your department.
Expatriate assignments to “Go Global” or go beyond the classical lines of an organization are extraordinary for the right candidate at the right time.
Action:Assess carefully your lifelines while being potentially out-of-sight.The repatriation process needs to be explicit on the outbound.
When attending company meetings and functions, take the opportunity to get to know people from other functions, departments, roles.Expand and nuture your internal network whenever you can.Brokers have the inside edge on future trends and opportunities.
Action:“Interview” new colleagues as if you were writing a report onyour company’s career opportunities, with the added question of “howcould I help to make your job easier?”
Annually revisit and step up your resume, education and training plan
Action:Are you poised ready for an opportunity when it appears?
Consider changing your question from “what opportunities are there inmy company that I could benefit from?" to “what opportunity could ICREATE for the company, and thus contribute in new ways? What is myunique value proposition?”
What built the careers of the past and present, may be obsolete in the not-so-distant future.Remember – when someone offers advice, they are likely 50% speaking (or writing!) to themselves to confirm success or rethinking a choice, failure and learning experience.
Only YOU are 100% accountable to navigate your own career, weighing the trends and changes in your functional specialty, company, and industry. Keep an eye out for emerging fields and game- changing industries.This can be an energizing process that keeps you in touch with your unique passions.
Copyright The Larsen Group: Architects of Change 2008