My friend and colleague Dr. Jim Poage had written previously guest blogs some nine plus years ago:
https://wap.sciencenet.cn/blog-1565-721625.html On systems engineering and human resources
https://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-1565-725578.html On systems engineeringand human resources (2)
He has now written another article on the consulting profession that has wider implications. I invited him to post another guest blog here below:
Guest Writeup for Professor Ho’s Blog – Jim Poage - November 29, 2022
Thank you to Professor Ho for inviting me to be a guest on his blog. I, Jim Poage, have been writing a monthly email newsletter called “Don’t Age Out of Tech” that is about how to manage your career so you’re indispensable and you don’t lose your job because your employer wants new skills. My recent newsletters have emphasized creating unique value for your employer and customers so you stand out. Professor Ho, who was my PhD thesis advisor at Harvard, asked me if I would share these ideas with his blog audience. I readily accepted.
My newsletter suggests that you not only strive to provide value in what you do, but provide a unique value. Then, you’ll always be in demand. A simple way to remember this is: Value + Unique = Indispensable.
I’ve been an independent consultant for 20 years. I attribute my long consulting career to my reputation for bringing order and solutions to ill-defined problems. Projects always have vague parts and organizations need someone who can make sense of ill-defined problems. I also use storytelling techniques for presentations and reports. Everyone wants to listen to an energizing communicator. I’ve found that clients pay attention and readily accept my work if I structure my presentations or reports as a story of the problem, how I solved it, and the benefits of the solution.
Now we all have different abilities and personalities, so we’ll all have the potential for different unique skills. Here’s a brainstorm of distinctive skills you might develop—ways you can stand out and be essential.
1. Problem-solving skills to make you indispensable:
• Define problems so that they can be solved, and that the solution will provide value
• Suggest ways to make a result more robust so the solution can be applied to more applications, products, and customers
• Suggest future valuable, unique work.
2. How you communicate (write and speak) makes a difference:
• Be understandable and clear—so your audience doesn’t struggle to understand you
• Engage your audience emotionally to keep their attention and motivate them to act
3. Be an energizer, not a deflator, so that clients and colleagues want to work with you:
• Be pleasant and positive
• Help others in their work
• Bring enthusiasm
• Be humorous.
What unique skills do you have? What unique skills can you develop or improve? How will you adapt your skills as circumstances change?
Thank you for letting me talk to you on Professor Ho’s blog