It is getting harder to get things done within our organizations. The number of decision makers it takes to move forward on something has been growing. The number of people we talk to and interact with has increased tremendously.
In order to get things done you have to be able to navigate the organizations decision making process and work with and through several people across many roles and departments. Having the ability to understand how the organization works and to identify the people who can help you achieve what you need is organizational acumen and it is the biggest differentiator of your success.
How to develop your organizational acumen:
Build networks within the organization and tap into that network frequently. Start by reviewing the job descriptions of those you interact with to understand what is important to them. Nurture and grow that network and don’t discount the power of a bottom up approach. Don’t isolate yourself with those who are in your department or in your same role.
Don’t become bound by org charts or titles
Once you’ve built a network that spans the organizations org chart and titles you will learn who can help you with what and then work through those people. When you have solutions or challenges have conversations with those people because even if they can’t help you directly they can influence their decision makers.
As our organizations become more complex and it continues to be difficult to get things done, developing your organizational acumen will become a key differentiator toward your success. Those who are able to get things done quickly and successfully do so because they can navigate the organization and are not dependent on the org chart.