In the previous installment of this series, I talked about addressing others who are affected by the job you’d like to create. Two of the special groups that we should delve into deeper are Stakeholders and Gatekeepers.
Stakeholders are those people who would receive some kind of value from your work. This might be WHAT you deliver, HOW you deliver it, even WHEN it happens. But most importantly, it’s TO WHOM, FROM WHOM and WITH WHOM.
When creating your list of Stakeholders, start with the three groups of people: to whom, from whom, and with whom. Next, look at the people beyond them who could possibly be affected in secondary ways. Then, look at the management structure of these people.
You’re looking for people who, ideally, will support you in your desired job because they see value from it. And, ideally, you should be able to show how your contribution will make a tangible and positive difference to their existing stated goals.
Gatekeepers are those who have relevant decision-making authority in the current structure, the ones who can approve or disapprove, help or hinder. Certainly the person who would be funding your desired position would be top of the list, as would your immediate manager. In most situations this would include multiple layers of management above them (depending on the breadth and depth of your impact), as well as some managers in the organization where you’re currently working. If you’re trying to jump from one place on the org chart to another, you want supporters both on the sending and the receiving end.
In many organizations, there may also be other decision-makers and decision-influencers in the Human Resources department, Finance department, and elsewhere. So make sure you dig well beyond just the few people whom you think own the decisions, to others who may have significant influence. Many may not be managers!
We talked in part 4 about others who are affected by the job you’re proposing, and there may be stakeholders and gatekeepers associated with them as well.
This list is growing huge, isn’t it? Keep at it — the end is in sight!
Look for my next article, which will transition us out of planning and into action!
Series on Creating a Custom Job Out of Thin Air