Desk of Brad

Expertise and Career Growth

“Employee engagement is strongly connected to business outcomes essential to an organization’s financial success, such as productivity, profitability and customer engagement. Engaged employees drive the innovation, growth and revenue that their companies need.”

– Amy Adkins (Gallup 2015) 


 “The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.” – Lee Iacocca 
I thought about this quote today because I can feel that we are at the precipice of some big changes in our business; not only are we revitalizing ourselves as a company, refocusing on our core framework, but you could also say that we are in the midst of transforming into our adolescent phase as a company. We are over the immaturity that all businesses experience in the beginning; we have learned a few hard lessons and we are now entering the age of finding our footing and growing with a strong foundation in our values and abilities. With this development as an organization, we must be willing to make changes in the way that we approach our jobs and roles and in helping guide others along with us. I have never been one who settles for less than the best, and this drive keeps me constantly looking towards making improvements in the way that I work with those around me. 
This attached document (Skills Acquisition), is an excerpt from one of my favorite books “Mind Over Machine: The Power of Human Intuition and Expertise in the Era of the Computer”. The article/book defines a method for understanding someone’s experience level and how they progress through the learning curve. One of our big initiatives for Q1 of 2017 is a new Goal Setting and Position Expectations form that needs to be completed with each employee and includes a section where you and your manager define your level of expertise with a plan to grow. The skills acquisition paper provides a nice framework for this process. 
This framework is also useful for thinking about the systems and processes we’ll need in place to ensure that we can effectively progress ourselves to higher levels of expertise. As a manager or leader in the business (which, believe it or not – you all are) this is also particularly useful to think about the kinds of mistakes employees or teams might make as they are becoming more experienced. It’s important to consider how you’ll teach yourself and your colleagues to act and react in context, without being a slave to rules. Said differently, you must teach them good business judgment, balancing the needs of the client with the needs of the business, and effectively communicating. 
It’s important that each of us begin considering how we are going to introduce more people into the business, help them progress in their career, and maintain the Tahzoo culture and values. We should anticipate more mistakes and recognize that junior people will need more structure to maintain the level of quality our clients expect, while more senior people may have habits and practices that will be different from ours. I appreciate everyone’s focus on these initiatives as we mature the Tahzoo business. 
Remember, this isn’t just my company – it’s our company – and I hope that you feel the same sense of accomplishment for getting us this far, and the same excitement about the future that I have! 
Let’s go be great!