I recently had a client express to me a rather thoughtful side effect to a proposal to engage my services and deliver a substantial body of work. I had always been subtly aware of this side effect and have come to realize I unconsciously leveraged it far into the future with my work.
We sat down face to face to discuss my proposal. The organization she leads is not new, but she is new to the organization and some of the strategic responsibilities of the role. She immediately recognized that the act of producing the deliverables that equate to the overall objective of the project would be valuable not only in educating herself on her new team, but also bring her organization and those they support closer together.
The engagement necessary to perform the work required a good deal of support from colleagues across a matrix environment – a norm for today’s large global organizations comprised of many knowledge workers. What this leader recognized might be best termed as a gain share. A shared gain of additional value from the engagement of colleagues outside of her immediate team towards achievement of a common goal. New relationships would be established. Equity of knowledge would be shared amongst the team members. Colleagues would come to understand the responsibility and ownership for related functional areas.
In the process all involved would become more aware of their respective areas and inter-dependencies, specifically what areas for each of them are critical for success. That would make the next project far easier to accomplish together. Her colleagues would garner greater business acumen and be more valuable to the organization. And perhaps they would be that much more interested in tackling the next challenge or opportunity, even to approach it with an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset.
I can’t say for certain that I will win this bit of business with the client. I can assert that the individual who does will be lucky to have an insightful and interesting engagement. I view this client as a potential asset for the long term. This leader is able to think beyond the stated objectives. She has vision. She sees value in the less tangible benefits of the work. To her, and to me, they are certainly no less valuable than the tangible.