October 13, 2017

By Austin Bauer – PCC, Performance Coach and Facilitator

In my last post on the Five Traits of Successful Intrapreneurs, I discussed how all agency employees, no matter their level, have a unique view ‘under the hood’ of their team or department. Everyone has their own experience, their own eyes, and can catch things others may miss.

By being curious, action-oriented, taking responsibltiy, synthesizing, and life-long learners, employees can earn more autonomy and advance their careers while their agency benefits in new ways.

But what if an employee is looking for new ways to contribute, and keeps getting stuck? Maybe they feel too junior to have a voice; maybe they simply don’t know where to start.

I believe everyone has something to contribute. That’s why I have outlined five areas where value hides so that anyone working at an agency – from entry-level, to HR leaders, to executives – can find new ways to contribute.

Five Types of V.A.L.U.E.

Consider these when brainstorming ways to level up your role:

  •     Visibility – We are in the business of getting our clients in front of their intended audience. But how well does your agency promote itself? Is PR built into your agency or team? Is the work you do shareable? With whom? How does it get shared? And who else needs to see it?
  •     Atmosphere – Without the right culture and climate, there will be organizational roadblocks within your agency, and it will never fulfill its potential. The best ideas will get silenced. But if you can help create an atmosphere of real collaboration, listening, respect, and communication through psychological safety, the best ideas will arise. Are there internal workshops, meetups, or brainstorms you can create that would help improve your work culture? One idea is to create a speed-dating session at lunch where employees who otherwise wouldn’t interact get to know one another. This cross-pollination creates fresh connections that can lead to unexpected solutions.
  •     Logistics – This is about efficiency. Where do you repeat your tasks, your conversations, your meetings? Where are you (or your team) spinning your wheels? How does communication happen internally and with the client? Where does communication break down? Are there people who need to be looped in earlier, later, or not at all? What processes, if improved, would make the biggest difference to you and your team?
  •     Utility – This is all about usefulness. How can you be more useful for your team? Clients? Agency? How can you level-up your deliverables and offering to current clients? Of the work you for clients, what has been the best? The worst? How can you bring elements of the BEST to the WORST clients? New clients? Remember to bring your best to the rest.
  •     Excellence – This is about doing better work. It’s about giving a damn, and caring the most. Ask yourself, Where are you keeping yourself small? Where are you not speaking up? Where are you speaking up too much? If you don’t know, Who can you ask to find out?

By focusing on these five areas, you can start to hone in on the opportunities to improve your agency that will serve everyone involved.

  • Things to remember:
  •     Deliver on at least three of the five types of value. Good employees tend to contribute to at least one or two of these. To really stand out, and to contribute in a more comprehensive way, see if you can hit at least three.
  •     Look beyond your role or department. It’s easy to get stuck in our work bubbles. Too often, even at small agencies, people don’t know what people on other teams or departments are doing. They may not even know their name. I am continually surprised by this. Be the exception and expand your network.
  •     Stay curious and interested. If you aren’t, you’ll be bored to death. This is not about advancing yourself. It’s about taking ownership. If you aren’t interested and curious, you’ll never have the fuel to motivate yourself into a state of action.

 

 

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