Ever notice that most job descriptions list about 10 things that are known that the person will be required to do and then some line that says “projects as needed”. That’s the catch-all line because what we get hired for isn’t everything we do; in fact, the functional job someone is hired for is only 1 (rather small) part of what they do.
I think we ought to reflect that as this:
The full job is something more like this:
1. What the job description includes
+ What projects/initiatives need to happen in the business to thrive.
+ Communities you contribute to
+ Sparks that bring out others’ creativity to solve problems
+ Culture you enable of trust, transparency, openness..
+ The High-performance you demand because your team deserve to be that good
+ Winning Ideas you advocate for.
All the ++s in work is all community, all collaboration. While we structurally belong to one specific team or organization (maybe two in some matrixed world) in terms of formal reporting structure, we actually belong to multiple teams every day, depending on what we’re doing. If we think of the groups who come together to execute, despite organizational structures or roles, as teams or as communities, there is more likely a shared purpose. These communities are coming together from purpose, passion, choice to collaborate. While collaboration in this form is amorphous and fluid, it is also — when you get the right people to work together on a project with a purpose — solid as a rock.
The functional job allows us to maintain what is which is important for many reasons. The collaborative roles allow us to create what needs to be, which is important to ultimately build the next product, shape the next market and morph from today to tomorrow. Both are needed; yet most often, organizations focus on recruiting and measuring the functional job part. We ought to figure out how to recruit also for all the other stuff — the everything else stuff — because that’s the part that let’s us kick ass.
Let’s redefine work beyond the functional role. Function and domain expertise is an artificial box that lets us measure “efficiency” and “accountability” to each person. Who we are at work influences everything else and the outcomes of the team and organization. What we all actually do every day is much bigger than just the functional stuff, isn’t it?