Preparing For A New Territory
As organizations change how they operate and even function in the 4th quarter of 2021, many things are unknown. Will you still have access to the people, talent and resources you had pre-2020? Will your budget and sales expectations change?
During 2020, like many, you may have done without daily commutes to an office, carpools to bring your children to an activity, name-brand toilet paper and depending on take-out. There probably was a lot of good in that, mentally and physically, at least temporarily. And, you made do. (And I want to acknowledge there’s a lot you may have had to do without that were much more important and painful. That’s not what we’re talking about in this post). Speaking about the annoyances rather than the painful, how do you carry on and perhaps even excel making do without things?
When I was brought in as the first female partner/director to a 12-office executive search firm, I learned quickly I was going to have to do without. Unlike the male directors, I would not have access to the admin for the office or the researchers, have a marketing budget, nor the kind of printer I was used to. (This was before #metoo, and I was getting paid better than most of the other partners.) What did I do?
I decided the things I could do without: the admin because I was used to doing my own writing, typing and pinch hitting the scheduling when my former admin was busy, the researcher I bargained for partial time from a remote on staff employee, the marketing budget I would keep to a minimum and pay for it myself after I was able to make some financial headway, and the printer – I bought my own. You might have done the same.
If you’ve ever changed jobs from a large company and moved to a much smaller one or start-up, unless there are large financial backers, you’ve experienced that the budgets are smaller. Resources are often fewer. Chances are you understood this when you accepted the new position although the position itself was probably an upgrade in responsibilities, incentives, perks and visibility from your previous one. With the understanding you are in a different situation than before, you learn what you truly need to do your job and what you can do without. And if you didn’t realize how scrappy you were before, you became MacGyver, reusing, sharing, substituting assets and resources.
In my earlier career in executive search, I placed a global beverage company marketing executive at a family-run retail branding and marketing services business. Even though her resources and ability to spend for those resources decreased substantially comparatively, she excelled in learning how to make good use of the limited resources she had. One of her solutions was to rephrase and reimagine what she did have. Unaware of the terminology, she used neuro-linguistic programming. By replacing her thinking of “doing without” with “removed”, “replaced”, “substituted” or “upgraded” she didn’t feel deprived; she felt empowered. https://inlpcenter.org/what-is-neuro-linguistic-programming-nlp/ The other way she was so good at this, she bartered with different departments to share talent she otherwise would have had to hire full-time or as outside freelancers.
Organizations will have to plot through new territory to fit our existing situation. Perhaps many organizations that did not profit substantially in 2020/21 will act more like the smaller organizations or start-ups mentioned above until the economy has found the new normal.
You’ve learned to make allowances for shortages or at least delays in this past year. From that experience, you may find a renewed sense of purpose and passion in your work with potential new shortages or budget cuts and discover skillfully how to work around them. And a new financial situation may open the door for greater collaboration in your team or with colleagues. Also, consider with shortages and delays come potential new ideas, way of doing things, because you can’t depend on what’s comfortable or how things have always been done.
This is new territory and you perhaps need a new anthem for it. Not “how can I live without you” but “we can work it out.”
Fluctuating circumstances have thrown you off from the comfortable same old course – whether you’ve been in the same organizational position, have started a new job, or are with a new company. We can work together so that you and your team can become more adaptable and discover the gifts through your current situation.
My work as a leadership and communication expert has me go into organizations, as an outside unbiased view to look at the gaps. I identify what an organization is missing that’s holding it back from thriving and continuing to stay relevant. Have practices become entrenched or no longer fit your plans for today’s workplace and goals? Contact me: Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com Let’s talk.