PILLAR FOUR: ORGANIZATION
As we begin to discuss the fourth pillar in our management model, we’d like to repeat what we said at the beginning… this is a developmental process for you as a manager. It begins with Pillar 1, which focuses on understanding Self, builds to Pillars 2 and 3 as you consider the way team members contribute to teams, and ends here with a conversation about management within the broader organizational structure.
Pillar Four: Organization
At BetterManager, when we talk about leveraging the organization we think about: knowing your brand, building your network, and adding value within the organization.
Knowing Your Brand
Pepsi, Amazon, Walmart, Google… these names are very familiar to us. All the names conjure up pictures of their brands and we know immediately what they stand for: success, wealth, and widespread recognition. That’s what branding does in the corporate world. Businesses protect their brands fiercely and understand the necessity for a good reputation. But nowadays, people also understand the importance of personal branding—and reputation is just as essential.
Do you have your own brand? What are you known for? When people are talking about needing to have someone do a major project or represent the organization, does your name come up? Your personal reputation is very important, and your brand as somebody who is easy to work with is critical. As you know, some corporations change their structures and branding from time to time… for example, Google is now a subsidiary of Alphabet. So think about whether you need to change the way you work to produce a more polished brand. And don’t forget that your brand in the organization can be improved through networking.
Building Your Network
Better Managers want to engage in networking because they have a genuine interest in building the capacity of their organizations. If you have the best interests of your corporation at heart, you will soon discover other like-minded managers and employees, and will probably end up discussing how you might work together. That’s one of the best ways to build a network. While there will be networks within the teams you manage, it’s the networking that reaches across departments that will help you meet new people with a variety of skills, strengths and contacts.
Networking allows you to build your knowledge of ways in which the company functions and, in turn, you can offer that knowledge to resolve problems and highlight new opportunities for growth. That’s a good way to show your professionalism and dedication to the entire enterprise, beyond your commitment to people in your department. As you demonstrate your value to various networks, you will be branded as a leader who adds to the value of the entire corporation.
Adding Value within the Organization
Your value to the organization can be shown in many ways:
- As a manager, you are working through your people to help make them more productive, and team members always value a leader who helps them succeed. You will be a valuable leader if you bring resources to your team, and have a strategy to stay well-networked within the organization, so that your team stays connected and relevant to the corporate goals.
- The more you collaborate and reach out to help others, the more help you will get in return. If your contributions are valued, others will be willing to give you key information and resources in exchange. The synergy that results will have positive results on the culture of the entire organization.
- Organizations that create silos might become dysfunctional. Work becomes redundant and there is not a good seamless crossover between departments. So, your work will be valued if you can encourage interaction across organizational barriers. Be the one to resolve controversial issues, in order to help adversarial departments work together more effectively.
As you move up the management ladder, there will be more and more challenges to face. Our strongest advice is to create strong bonds with others in the organization, and manage the network of people that can give you support and encouragement when things get difficult. In return, you can help others when they need it. Think of networking as a give-and-take endeavor that benefits every-one involved.
We hope the suggestions we have made in this four-part series about the Pillars for Better Management have given you a lot to think about. We’ve emphasized the importance of understanding yourself, and who you are as a manager. We’ve discussed ways of interacting with your team members, and approaches to developing the culture of the team as a whole. Finally, we’ve offered suggestions for building both your brand and your networks across the entire corporation.
These are just some of the many strategies for building your management skills. As you continue to learn, check with us about other ways we can help you to become a Better Manager.
Want to read about the other 3 Pillars?
Download the Four Pillars of Great Management Ebook!
May 2, 2017