As we previously discussed, there are many reasons to attend industry association events. One of those is to have the opportunity to hear and introduce best practices.
It is important to recognize that visibility and value are deeply symbiotic in your organization and industry. You already know that professional risks exist for busy business professionals who are invisible or undervalued in their organization. You do not want to be visible without providing value, and it is hard to demonstrate the value that you provide if you are invisible.
Research tells us that how we define something dictates the activities we subscribe to it. There is a famous example from the turn of the 19th century that illustrates this point. In an effort to change how the public perceived his company, the president of a railroad company declared, “We are not a train company – we are a transportation company!” Suddenly, by viewing his organization as a provider of transportation and not just an owner of trains, he created new customer perspectives and business opportunities.
How do you know if your organization has a performance management system? I think you know, as your body is already starting to shudder. Once a year, your boss is thrust into the dreaded “performance management cycle” and required to complete numerous performance appraisals. As he rushes to complete his appraisals en masse the Sunday night before the appraisals are due, his ratings are influenced by the rankings and bell-curve pre-established by your organization. Upon the completion of an exhausting approval process, he finally schedules a meeting with you. Following the meeting, you rush back to your cubicle, call your significant other and exclaim, “I got a 3.5 on collaboration!”
History will not be kind to the performance appraisal. After decades of lackluster experiences, stale formats, and non-existent correlations between assessment and achievement, most savvy business leaders and modern management experts would tell you that the performance appraisal is a well-intended yet failed exercise in behavior modification.
There is no greater activity to begin the process of raising the value you create for your organization than a conversation with your boss about value creation. By approaching your boss and requesting a conversation regarding value creation, you are already raising your value in your organization. Yet, at the same time, this is not a conversation being held in organizations across the globe. Hence, when responding to your request, your boss may be:
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:
With so many options and possibilities already existing in your organization, you can start raising your value immediately. Before you jump out of your chair and begin the shift from good performer to valuable employee, however, you need to do the following two things:
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.