Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Building Support Through An Internal Network – Part 3

For the last couple of weeks, I have been writing about the importance and value of building bonds and developing an internal network within your organization. We’ve talked about how your success as a manager and leader goes well beyond the simplicity of producing results. And we’ve talked about some of the reasons why building an internal network can help you become successful.

The question becomes, how and where do you start building your internal network? It’s just not possible to build strong bonds with everyone, at least not all at once.

I like to think about building bonds in terms of concentric circles, with you and your organization at the center. If you start from the center and build out, you have the best chance of making strong alliances with the people who can help you the most immediately. In addition, these alliances will help you build future alliances as well.

The first step is to determine exactly who your customers are, especially those internal customers that you must satisfy. Depending on where you are in the organization, your internal customers might be the sales organization, an order processing unit, a technical support organization, the operations unit, or even the accounting and finance department. Just like your company has a need to satisfy their external customers to ensure growth, you must have a similar desire to satisfy your internal customers to ensure your ongoing success. Once you have identified who your internal customers are, you must clearly identify exactly what they need and want from you to ensure their success. It’s not enough to rely on satisfying your goals and objectives, assuming that this will also satisfy your internal customers. Instead, take the time to understand THEIR goals and objectives, the role you play in helping them achieve those objectives, and what you can do to make their job easier. Make customer service your passion and you will be on the road to building strong internal bonds.

Once you’ve identified your internal customers, focus on your interface departments; those groups that may consider you their internal customer. Just as you worked hard to identify the goals and objectives of your internal customers, you should be equally zealous in sharing your goals and objectives with your interface organizations. Chances are, their departmental goals were built without proper input from you and your team, so while they may be well intentioned, they may well be off the mark. Build bonds with these interface organizations by helping them understand how you can help each other. Understand what they do and why they do it and how it blends with what you do.

Once you have these key interfaces secure, you can begin to build your alliances strategically. Understand how your company works, where the new ideas come from, and how change is affected in the organization. Make your contacts in person and personal. Do more than understand the departments. You must understand the people as well. Remember, the business may be the reason for building the bonds, but it’s the people who you must ultimately bond with.

Build strong bonds with the people in your organization so that you always have someone to turn to, and you will find it much easier to be successful at every level.

At ECI Learning Systems LLC, we are dedicated to helping companies get the greatest return from their most valuable asset: their employees. We work with you to align 3 key organizational factors:
• Your Company Culture
• The Leadership Styles of your key managers
• The Expectations of your Employees

When these 3 factors are aligned, you create an energy in your company that improves productivity, reduces absenteeism, increases creativity, and positively impacts your bottom line. Contact ECI Learning Systems LLC today to get your free Workplace Evaluation.

Until next time.....

Dave Meyer
ECI Learning Systems, LLC

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