Many companies today are dealing with the fall out of executive scandals, mergers and acquisitions, downsizing and other economic and social factors. Annually, companies re-org their management and staff to meet the requirements of the marketplace (so they say). New management takes over, the old move out, continuity is lost, staff feel un easy with the changes and either leave, fight to survive or stay quiet and roll with it.
So why this blog? Understanding your clients culture is key to proactively planning for the success of your (the clients) project. By understanding the clients culture, you are in a better situation to help your sponsor(s) plan and anticipate external project factors that can impede success.
Why do companies re-org so frequently? Changes to the marketplace such as new competitors or other external factors such as wars and hurricanes? Or, maybe the company is tired and just not performing.
I often think about my first day on the job. Most the desks were empty with junk lying on them, teams were fighting and back stabbing openly and one of the account managers would fall asleep at his desk! No wonder the companies stock dropped to a few dollars!
When I think of re-orgs that occur as often as yearly or quarterly, I have visions of a crusty old cowboy (Willie Nelson) kicking a dead horse. Why? Often, no matter the change, it won’t help. It’s inevitable, companies become policy driven and staff become disempowered. A strong customer focus becomes one of internal focus to survive, getting through company red-tape to get your job down and to stay aloof of politics so that you dont get "whacked" (packaged) unexpectedly by a colleague because they want your job or somebody wants to hire their buddy.
For those of you working in large companies, you know exactly what I’m talking about! Some of you have probably moved to smaller companies to avoid exactly the situation I’ve described.
So, how to survive and ultimately achieve in a large company? Here are some steps that will help:
- Keep your integrity – what goes around comes around. Eventually you will move on and run into people again, if you are professional, these relationships will continue to a mutual benefit.
- Get to know as many people in the company as possible at a variety of levels. This will improve your ability to get past company bureaucracy, understand organizational changes and how they impact you.
- Don’t rely on your manager to do the right thing. Managment has different goals than you, you must take control of your career. This involves understanding your profession, how to leverage your companies services and becoming knowledgable of the marketplace.
- Drive awareness of your capabilities, sell to your strengths and avoid no win scenarios. Be your own advocate and make sure people are aware of your successes.
- Set aside time and money for self training and study – buy a lab.
- Establish leverage points within the organization. This includes success stories, a knowledge network but most importantly – relationships with people that think alike.
- Avoid losers. What’s a loser? Someone that piggybacks on your success, sneaks around you or is a corporate fossil – they are everywhere!
What are your experiences and thoughts? I’d like to hear from you.