In the previous installment of this series, I talked about the stakeholders and gatekeepers involved with your wonderful job proposal.
That’s a good thing, because now it’s time to get to work on those critical people.
You have your clear statement of the compelling organizational need, which you tested with many people in part 2. You also described how and why you’ll address this need by the value you’ll provide in part 3. That also included how you’ll handle the important risks involved with supporting your proposal.
A special class of risks, in part 4, was the people who would be impacted by your proposal, and ultimately, in part 5 we talked about building that up to key stakeholders and gatekeepers.
Start with the stakeholders first. The logic is simply that if they become enthusiastic supporters, they’ll help you to take care of the gatekeepers. And without them, the gatekeepers have the simplest excuse not to approve any change: No important people are supporting your idea!
With the stakeholders, you need to work and refine these messages:
- This is a compelling organizational need.
- My proposal will address that need.
- I’ve thought through all the impacts, costs and risks, and have a plan for how to address each.
- This will make an important difference to YOUR life.
- What would it take for you to support my proposal?
It’s an interesting dance, too, because you need to distance your ego somewhat from this discussion. The organizational need exists, and is compelling, even if your proposal is not the best solution. Putting someone else into your desired job role should be an acceptable solution, even if you would personally be disappointed. Or perhaps the proposal will end up mutating into something that you personally wouldn’t want to do.
It’s important to have courage, persistence and objectivity. It’s OK to display passion around your wonderful idea, but not so much that you forget that it’s driven by the organization’s goals, not yours.
This takes time and considerable energy. The last time I did this successfully, it took over a year. I’ve had others that I worked on for four years or more which were never approved. To keep going over the long haul, remember:
- You’re doing this because it REALLY IS important.
- It’s a valuable step in your career.
- Even if you don’t succeed, you’ll learn a whole bunch along the way.
- If you get to do the job you designed, it may be the best job you’ll ever have!
Let me also mention accountability. It’s not a word that some people like to hear, but here’s the truth: If you don’t stand behind what you’re saying, follow through, and own the results, you’ll never get anyone else to support you.
You’re asking others to take significant risk, and they need to know they can count on you. 100%.
I hope you have enjoyed this series of articles, and are thinking about how you can work these ideas into your next job transition!
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Series on Creating a Custom Job Out of Thin Air
- Part 1: How Are Jobs Normally Created?
- Part 2: Establishing the Compelling Organizational Need
- Part 3: Describing How Value Would Be Provided
- Part 4: Others Affected by the Job
- Part 5: Stakeholders and Gatekeepers
- Part 6: Courage, Follow-Through, and Accountability
by Carl Dierschow