Are you not feeling that you have the support of your boss when it comes to joining an association? In a previous post we discussed the importance of balancing work and industry events and being open with your boss. Here are a few more tips for getting your boss’s support and for getting her behind your decision to join an association.
Take a moment to think about a key activity/project in which you are currently engaged. An activity tends to be smaller and completed on a recurring basis, while a project tends to be larger and done only once. An effective strategy in completing your value identification exercise is to find a colleague who can help you think through this important information. Think about the following:
The competitive global marketplace shows little mercy for organizations that are slow to raise the bar for their customers and their employees. Business value tied to external marketplace drivers tend to be strategically focused and is created by:
Like an adolescent transitioning to adulthood, growing and evolving organizations require value to be more tangible, and the contribution of business value by employees to be broader. While individual value is critically important to an organization’s performance and culture, it is not the type of value that will sustain an organization in its marketplace. Business value tied to internal financial drivers reflects a more strategic perspective that can have a positive impact on your organization. In today’s competitive marketplaces, your organization needs as many employees as possible focused on creating value through internal financial drivers.
When you perform your job well, you are valuable to your organization. When you are focused primarily on creating individual value, you tend to be in a role that is more tactically-focused. And let’s face it, some roles in organizations need to be tactically focused and this focus is very valuable to the organization. Not every role has a clear line of sight to financial performance, nor should they. At the same time, most organizations have yet to explore how roles, even the most tactical, can create value to the organization by exploring how individuals within these roles can impact financial performance. Not all value that is created has to be worth millions of dollars, or qualify for the cover of Time magazine. Even individuals in a tactical role or a group of individuals comprising a function can create value for the organization.
Raising your value is defined as performing activities that connect individual contributions with business performance. To be considered a valuable employee, you must tie as many of your activities as possible to how your organization measures how well it’s performing. For most organizations, business performance is predominantly measured through financial performance. As you work to create value for your organization, you must focus your activities on your company’s financial performance.
Internally, your organization needs to be managed in ways that ensure investors and customers stay interested. In order for your organization to survive for the long-term, it needs to obtain value from vendors and employees.
There are numerous variables your organization manages internally to keep external stakeholders interested through value creation. One of the most significant ways to create value internally is by managing expenses with vendors and employees.
All organizations operating in complex environments are impacted by external and internal forces. Externally, your organization needs to raise capital in order to invest in its growth and generate revenue to cover its operating expenses with vendors and employees. In order for your organization to obtain capital or generate revenue, it needs to create value for investors and customers.
Organizations today are not like a family, regardless of what your well-intentioned CEO tells you. In functional families, “blood is thicker than water” and family always comes first. Whether you a mother, step-father, sister, brother-in-law, aunt, uncle, beloved or estranged, you are and will always be historically, legally or genetically a family member.
Conversely, in organizations, the organization always comes first. While business is on the upswing, your relationship with your employer will flourish. Moods are positive and opportunities are abundant. Hope springs eternal! Yet, it is the belief that good times are forever, or that relationships will supersede a tough decision that leaves most business professionals surprised, shocked, and hurt. When red ink starts to rise as financials tighten or competition heats up, reorganizations, restructurings, and reductions rule the day. Good performers are suddenly reminded that they are liabilities on a balance sheet and liabilities must be reduced in order to stabilize financials. “Family members” are suddenly and unceremoniously asked to pack-up their belongings and exit the building, escorted to the door by Harold from Security. In organizations, blood is not thicker than water – red ink is.
Allyn Gardner, the long-time career coach at Harvard Business School’s career program for MBA students has observed this phenomenon first hand. “They call people human capital for a reason,” Allyn mused. “Capital is an asset that you review periodically to determine how well it is performing to meet your objectives. Businesses tend to focus more on the capital-side and less on the human-side.”
Once you convince your boss that your membership and your attendance is work-related, you want to have your organization pay for your membership or registration fees. How do you start? You could write a memo similar to the example below, or use the key points from this example as talking points for a conversation.
I am interested in attending a professional development workshop being hosted by the Software Development Association (SDA). The workshop is on Tuesday, April 10, starting at 8:00 am and ending at 4:00 pm.
The SDA is a global organization dedicated to the professional development of business professionals in the software industry. As I continue to grow my career with our organization, I believe attending this event has the following advantages:
- I would like to use this opportunity to search for candidates for the open Legal Assistant role. There will be over 100 professionals in attendance at this workshop.
- I would like to recap best practices that I learn during the workshop and share them with you. Together we may identify a couple of best practices that we can implement here.
- I want to seek out a colleague who is familiar with the new invoicing platform to which we will be moving in three years. I anticipate this colleague can provide us some information and advice about his/her experiences.
During my absence, I plan to have Marc be the “point-person” for my team and any client issues. I am going to meet with my team two days before the workshop to plan for my absence, and meet with them the day after the workshop to ensure any issues that arose during my absence were immediately addressed.
I anticipate that attending this workshop, as well as any challenges I face managing my absence, will help me grow my capabilities as a leader at our organization. To that end, I am also requesting that you approve paying for the workshop which costs $499.00 (lunch and materials included).
I am excited about this opportunity and appreciate your support. Thank you for your consideration of this request.