I’ve been thinking about how we work. Whether we’re able to develop ideas and initiate projects or only implement instructions given. It’s been on my mind as it relates to personal fulfilment, ownership of your work (art) and feeling part of your work tribe.
No matter your role you need to perform tasks that add value, i.e., ask yourself if this equation is true:
(your contribution) - (your cost) > $0?
For every Dollar > $0 you’re adding value to the business. Most of the time we perform tasks, some of which can be mundane, to keep things going. However, with 5-10% of your time, do you have the opportunity to develop an idea, make an impact and strengthen the tribe?
You may have some ideas that are different. I’m sure it’s challenging, especially should the environment you’re in not encourage idea generation across all levels of the business. People will push back on your ideas, and perhaps kill them before they even begin. All businesses want great ideas to grow top line etc, who wouldn’t. But what people tend to like is the idea moving only a few degrees from their current positioning.
You’ll have to work on convincing a few people, developing a way where these ideas can be given a go. Seth Godin, in his book Linchpin, suggests you take the idea, set a deadline, brainstorm with team members, build it out and present it to obtain a ‘yes’ from your boss, based on you delivering the plan as presented. Remember you’re closer to the frontline than your boss, so your insights on the customer are stronger.
In Summary: Find the method for you to initiate and grow your contribution (in the equation above). It will solidify your position in the company, keeping your name on the promotion list and off the retrenchment list. Furthermore, I’m sure it will bring you a greater sense of fulfilment.