Technical experts are great at knowing their own value and function. But to position your role as vital to the core business, rather than a cost, you need to understand how your work aligns with your organisation’s strategy.
What does this actually mean?
Make sure you’ve read and understood the current organisational strategy.
Can you reach out and connect with those who shaped the strategy?
Ask your manager/s for their take: how should you align your and your team’s activities?
Think about market factors that contributed to the strategy.
If possible, familiarize yourself with any strategic market analysis.
This could mean viewing customer data, competitor analysis, and other data sources that informed the organisation’s strategy. The strategy team is usually willing to share this information if you make a case for it.
Ask yourself: do you feel committed to helping execute the strategy? Do you think it’s the right strategy? If not, why not?
Have you diplomatically challenged those who shaped it with alternative views?
Practice articulating the strategy, its underlying rationale, and the connection between it and what you do as an expert.
As an expert, demonstrate to the organisation that your work provides critical services and adds value. Make the connection visible between your daily activities and the organisation’s highest priorities.
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