business in the business Successful employees do more than follow instructions, says consultant Jacqueline Jones. They aggressively seek out opportunities for organic growth. “They find the business in their business, putting themselves in the position of the C-level people in the company.” Consider the competitive challenges facing the CEO or COO. Those who stand out are the employees who envision how their work within a division or department can impact the company as a whole.
Stop looking at yourself as an employee of a company. Think of your company as a client. “Before you join any company or department, do a thorough analysis on business challenges and threats,” recommends Jones. “And then ask, ‘What can I do to mitigate those threats.’”
20 On your mark—keeping up with the speed of change “The world is moving very, very quickly. By 2010, 70% of manufacturing sales will be obsolete,” say Frans Johansson, author of The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts & Cultures (Harvard Business School Press, $24.95). Add to that the growth of global markets, such as India, China, Eastern Europe, and Africa, and the current approach to business will experience rapid change. The shift will produce greater challenges and increased competition for people in the U.S., says Johansson.
Employees will have to learn to use information to keep pace with change, says Johansson. “It’s critical for you as an individual to reinvent yourself, to continually find new ways of providing value to your company or to the market in general,” he says. Finding new areas and applications for your talents may be a huge opportunity to do something no one else is doing.