Some years ago, I had the chance to work with Stephanie Chick. I still continue to follow her work, and was excited about her new blog Deliver The Package. The other day she posed a thought-provoking challenge.
I understand why she called it a “No-Win Situation”, but I prefer to think of it as more of a “tough challenge.”
When you’re trying to promote an idea inside a company, there’s risks that you take on. But, honestly, I tend to think that the biggest barrier holding you back is your own self-generated fear.
My Big Idea at HP – for a decade – was that the company could reap huge value from Coaching, if they only harnessed the capability and passion which was lying around unused.
The outcome of the story, by the way, is that I got laid off in 2009, never having fully achieved that dream. But that launched me out into my own business coaching, where I’m seeing success today.
But that’s not the most IMPORTANT outcome. While I was there, I helped start and lead the internal group of people who have a passion around coaching. The last I heard, it’s still around 300 people worldwide.
I did it without having any designated authority.
I did it with exactly zero budget.
I did it for ten years.
I did it because I had a vision which supported the company’s goals.
This isn’t to brag. I’m hoping to encourage you. When you’re feeling frustrated by the difficulty of promoting an idea within your work environment:
- Find others who share your passion, and build on that
- Listen to the feedback, and look for ways to improve alignment
- Continually refine the idea based on what you learn
- Hold the long view – it may feel like it’s taking forever to make progress
That was one of the most important contributions I ever made to HP, yet I never got paid for doing it. The only recognition came from a whole bunch of people who I consider great friends today.
Which is enough.