Retelling the story, rethinking your role

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How do your strengths fit your offer?

I have recently been working through a personal project, inventorying my strengths… like what fundamentally do I bring to the market that is highly valued? Through my career I have described myself on the surface by the titles I have held (while at the same time telling myself the story that I did not assess my value merely by those titles).

While I expect many of you have had similar experiences, I think that the many rapid changes brought about by the Internet have produced a profound impact and new possibilities to a group of people who may not have perfectly fit into traditional definitions of president and CEO, or even director, project manager, etc.

Effects of technology drift on traditional roles

Traditional role descriptions lose some of their relevance when traditional practices are confronted by new technologies like smart phones, touchscreen tablets and a wide variety of social media channels… and by users of those technologies whose expectations are set up in the 2/3 of their life they are not at work.

I have some CIO colleagues who are much more knowledgeable than I am about managing infrastructure components including both physical network devices and software services such as email. For the last fifteen years, they have also withstood expanding use of laptops, instant messaging and cell phones.

Only now the possibilities of cloud computing and Software as a Service promise to move some of infrastructure concerns outside the direct administration of corporate IT. The CIO, meanwhile, has to ask what they think of social media. And while the traditional CIO immediately has concerns about security (with good reason), the business implications of creating more intimate channels for business communications with customers, employees and vendors cannot be ignored.

So what’s in a role, anyway?

Fundamentally, we might say a person holds their role effectively when they hold the promises required of that role – so a role is like a collection of promises. To describe a role in this way suggests there may be many ways to keep your basic promises to your supervisor, manager or board of directors. Knowing what success looks like, and how that changes as market forces work sounds pretty important.

Do you know what promises you need to keep in your role? Are they specific (related to right now), or fundamental (they transcend market changes)? Do your promises play to your strengths? I am resolved to make sure mine do.

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About ken
Creative insights, passion and technical adrenaline - strategist, agile coach and marketer, providing a good life for wife of 20 years & 2 awesome teenagers!

One Response to Retelling the story, rethinking your role

  1. Pingback: Taking standardization too far « kenfaw.com

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