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12 ways INDIVIDUALS can influence key business results By Roy Osing

I often hear people say they personally can't affect the outcomes of their organization. 

They believe that the actions of a single person in any organization are insufficient to enhance strategic performance.

This is not a surprising perspective. Organization's are complex and often internal communication and leadership lack the precision of spelling out exactly what needs to be done to execute the strategy. 

Most strategic plans lack the implementation detail that would enable individuals understand their role in implementation. They tend to be focused on WHAT outcome is desired rather than on HOW it will be achieved.

Here's my step by step process to ensure your actions are both relevant and effective at contributing to the outcomes your organization wants to achieve.

1. Thoroughly understand the strategy of the organization. Accept the reality that the strategy won't have the granularity you need to define your specific role in delivering it. You will have to know it intimately in order to determine what you must do to support its direction. Seek clarification from leadership if you need to.

2. Determine the strategic programs that align with your position responsibilities and competencies. If you are in sales, look for the sales oriented objectives.

3. Boil the number of programs where you could contribute down to a critical few where you believe you can make a BIG difference. Make a call on those with BIG PAYOFF potential and focus on those 

4. Draft the specific role you believe you can play in each program. Be specific. Detail the deliverables you can contribute and how they will advance the strategy.

5. Confirm your role with leadership. Press them to agree you are on the right track or that modifications are required to align your actions more closely with the program's intent.

6. Get a leadership sponsor for your task. You will achieve more progress with a "power pusher" supporting your initiatives than without one (also you can use another mentor in your career, right?).

7. Look for opportunities to perform your role differently than what leadership expects. Show originality and new box thinking.

8. Ensure you have sufficient capacity to perform your role flawlessly. Don't take on more than you are capable of delivering. If you falter because your plate is too full no one will care. All they will see is that you blew it. Build "slack time" in your schedule to account for the unexpected tasks you will most certainly be asked to perform.

9. Eliminate as many activities that don't relate to your strategic role as you can. You won't have total control over this, but, again, this is about building your capacity to deliver the strategic outcomes you have chosen.

10. Get comfortable with imperfection. You don't behave the time to try to deliver the perfect anything. Plus, it doesn't exist; it's a waste of time trying. Be imperfect fast and often. Ship stuff; don't study stuff to death. You will be judged by your output not your intellectual processing power. If you don't do it, what good is the thought?

11. Strike and lead cross functional teams where the desired outcome requires more than just your resources. Show leadership.

12. Communicate regularly. Tell 'em what you're gonna do. Tell 'em how it's going. Tell 'em what you delivered.

The "average" employee uses their lack of influence as a crutch to do nothing to support strategic goals.

Don't be captured by that herd. You'll never get out of it. 

About Author

Roy Osing (@royosing) is a former President and CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience covering all the major business functions including business strategy, marketing, sales, customer service and people development. He is a blogger, content marketer, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead

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