When my boss was sharing some of the company’s plans for re-structuring, we could see that there was a big piece missing (aka “opportunity”) in managing the transition. Turf protection was high and we knew that getting support would be difficult. Often these discussions end with a shaking of the head and an “oh well” sense of defeat. My boss was already overloaded. Knowing it was a risky endeavor I asked, “Could I take a shot at it?” Incredulously he asked, “Why?” I had nearly hit the top of my job level and thought this could be a way to break through. At worst, it could be a great story to share at future job interviews. And I truly had a deep desire to do it. With his support, I was able to quickly do the due diligence, build the business case, offer a solution to the President and Council and roll out a successful change management initiative.
Does a planning meeting for another meeting sound dull? It is ripe with opportunity! Consider who will be attending the big meeting. If it is decision-makers and thought leaders, just being in the room is valuable. Does a speaker need someone to advance the slides during the talk? Raise your hand. You’ll get a ring-side seat at the discussions, hear the questions and learn what’s is important and not important to these influencers.