I think this happens to anyone working for a support function. As the results get better, you suddenly find yourself as the cast alone where all of your demands started to be neglected. No longer your expertise is the focus area of the company as other areas becomes emerging issues and day by day, you find yourself deserted and fallen from the grace. So how to accept the fact and counter new strategies in order to be under the spot lights again?
The above question is actually a genuine one, since I don`t have one good formula that works under every circumstance and saves the day. I would love to explain a well-built answer that would make me look like a hero of the day but as of today, I am not there. In fact, I am not even close since it is my third time where I live the same experience of feeling as the part of a fading light and still I don`t have one strategy that will guide me back to where I want to be.
So, how do you work it out when such things happen and you can not get the attention you need, your requests for resources are denied or ignored and day by day, you feel that you are loosing your voice and fading? I can briefly explain what I have tried along the way.
The first idea I had was to put out a tragedy and dramatize the situation as much as possible but this has too many draw backs. First, as a believer of honesty, I don`t like exaggeration. Abusing of it is increasing the organization`s tolerance limit. To give an example, you may find yourself in a situation where your requests are evaluated if the absence of them results in fatalities or not because you have used your skills of tragedy too much and the tolerance limit has been raised over the time where no one is intrigued with a lesser result. So, I do not prefer to become a cry baby, an exaggerator touting cries all the time.
My second strategy is to lay a low profile and hibernate until such a time comes and a real tragedy occurs. It is easy to say I said so, and appear once again as a hero of the day to help everyone to overcome the consequences but it is very reactive and again sounds very unethical to wait and do nothing. The consequences might not be tragic but you can not take risks when it comes to safety. So laying a low profile is not an option also (Even tough it is most tempting to become the one who said “I told you so!”)
Another option is to face it with humidity and accept the reality that you might be closing to an end of a page in your career and it is time for you to move away. Since it might be you who has lost the charms and no longer influence anyone in the organization. After all, no one should have the luxury to clog the pipeline and have the pharaoh feeling 😊. So I tried this one once and it really worked for me, I am sure the fresh blood have also improved the organization I had left in the positive way. But this one should not be the first option but at least two or three action plans should be tried.
Marketing is a good skill and I am sure everyone is using it from time to time. Companies are selling products that are not changing for centuries yet still loved by the consumers. There are countless lessons can be learned from them, and I am opening my eyes and ears to be able to get ideas from them. One thing is to renew the package and the looks. In safety business, it could be a new name like total well-being, human focused approach, loss focused discipline, safety culture program … Name is not the only thing you will change, the approach should also be renewed among with new additions, simplifications, using of technology and innovative approaches to support your new marketing ideas but this is very much bringing you to the very first beginning of fading attention. So, this one works when there is a need for improvement. And when the results get better and better, the fire of the need is fading. To me, marketing is something we use but this one is something that can not solve all issues and used regularly.
As you have understand, this is not a post to resolve things but really a search for an answer to my dilemma of finding an effective solution to the fading attention and focus to safety as the results get better and safety no longer seen as a priority. I would welcome all strategies that anyone might offer and would love to discuss the issue further…