Wednesday 21 July 2010

No Structure in a Small Office

Hello Yvonne,

So you work in a small office and it lacks structure. I imagine things are done inefficiently and imperfectly, and repeating mistakes just add to an already unmanageable workload. It's also likely that no-one seems to care nor want to make things better. Or perhaps they're all too busy to invest in those changes. People may even see your efforts to try to drive a stake into the ground and get a handle on making things better as busy-bodying interference.

Work takes up nearly half our waking lives and so being in a job you aren't enjoying is a waste of life, and the bleed-over affects of being unhappy at work often pollute your personal life when you get home. And of course, you'll never find, let alone reach your full potential in a job you don't like. The question is - what now?

I used to turn around organisations like this for a living and I loved it, but I had positional power and that makes things easier. If you don't have power, then you must work through influence. Without knowing more about your situation and yourself it's not possible for me to give high-probability-of-success strategies, but here are some ideas for you:
  • Become popular - befriend people
  • Understand who the decision makes and influencers are
  • Understand what challenges and what goals these people have - accept them as true - however grim they may seem
  • Think about your own goals in this - what is it that you want? Be honest and be selfish
  • See how you can align your wishes with those of the key players
  • Present all of your proposals in that light - show them how it gives them more of what they want
  • Sow seeds to grow their understanding of the failure mechanisms in play
If you're not up for that, then you may be ripe for a new job - which carries it's own set of horrors, of course.

I can help with all of this.  It's what I do. But I know that many people who have not had coaching are a little sceptical about coaching. Can it work? Is it a waste of money? Will it be comfortable? And so on. If you're in that group, please use my website to explore your concerns.

Good Luck!

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