I have a client who just started a new business analyst position for a Fortune 500 company. I am using the system defined in the book The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter to assist him in getting up to speed.
He was explaining some of the challenges he was having, and one was about the lack of prioritization of projects. He is working with two other newly hired business analysts, and I suggested they create a prioritization system for projects.
If something needs to be done, then just go do it. Grab and Grow!
I have always believed that if something needed to get done, and I liked the opportunity to get it done, then I just did it. The rare occasions when I got my hand slapped, I begged for forgiveness and learned from the experience. If I kept my schedule full with things I liked to do, then when items came up that I did not like to do, they would often be assigned to someone else.
I have called this the Grab and Grow model to career success.
Timing Is Important
Often when you spot something that is not being done, you can just start doing it. When it involves a lot of people or a micro-managing boss, you have to pick your spots to grab and grow.
Years ago, I had a micro-managing boss. He did not delegate anywhere near enough of the high level decision making to his team. This team was very senior with years of experience. We could not figure out how to get him to let go.
One night I was home working on getting reimbursed for medical expenses. I soon realized I needed a medical insurance form that I did not have. This was the 1990s, and everything was still submitted on paper through the mail. Our offices were only a ten minute drive from my house. At 8 PM, I drove to the office. When I walked to the cabinet to get the form, I walked by my bosses office. He was slouched in his chair and was obviously exhausted. The time was right to grab and grow.
I asked him what was wrong. He respond with a litany of items he was working on. I reminded him that Ed could handle item #1, Evelyn could handle item #2, Tom could handle Item #3… obviously picking the items I wanted for me.
It was only in his exhausted state would he have listened. From that day onward, he started delegating.
Sometimes, you need to plant seeds of ideas. This can be done by asking open ended questions about the problems that you see and want to solve. You should be prepared to discuss you solution… when the timing is right.
It is all about awareness. If you can make everyone aware of the problem by asking questions, when the timing is right you can present your solution OR you may just want to solve the problem anyway.
It is almost always better to fix a problem and then ask for permission later!
Give it a try and grab and grow!
Check out my book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers