I’m a “recovering” corporate executive, turned entrepreneur with my own firm and business partner on a couple of other ventures. My slogan is “reaching remarkable”. That’s what I help companies do and it’s what I want to do with you today.I hate the image of a “pipeline”. Definition of a pipeline: a conduit, a chain, a set of processes. A pipeline places a limitation on capacity.Implies no spills, no leaks, no diversions
Because those would equal a disaster
I far prefer the image of “portfolio” – a portable collection of competences, experiences and preferences
The world is changing.Discuss each point
These changes are particularly evident to millennials who see economic and governmental upheavals and no “contract” with employers. They feel they’re building their careers on sand
And women keep getting told to find “balance” between work and life…how can a “pipeline” sustain that? We’re supposed to be able to balance the world on our little finger – while standing on pointe! A more realistic aspiration – rather than “balance” is a state of equilibrium where our priorities are in their right places – something that changes over time.
So let’s go back to the portfolio concept for a minute. What does it mean?
A thesaurus will give you many similar words but my favorite simile is “collected works”. What are the collected works that make up your life? When you think about the “works” that are most important to you, they’re probably a mixture of paid work, family “work”, volunteer work, learning, etc. These all go into filling your portfolio. And filling your portfolio with things that matter to you will lead you to a feeling of success.
To really explore what you want from your career (and your life) – how you want your portfolio to fill, I think you need to begin with a definition of success. This is a very personal thing – what is success for you, may not be success for the person sitting next to you. INTERACTIVE EXERCISE: Think about the past 2 weeks – what the best thing that’s happened to you? Now turn to one of your neighbors and tell each other your story.Some of you had personal things, some professional things – some with athletics or your family or culture.The point is: What is YOUR success?
In “Just Enough” by Harvard Business School professors Laura Nash & Howard Stevenson, identified 4 components to enduring success. (Walk through the model)
My friend, Jon Glesinger, founder of gleXnet and Expert Alumni, has a simpler list of the essential elements for work – and life – satisfaction. (Define elements.)
Now that we’ve talked about pipelines and portfolios and how we each might define success for ourselves, let’s take a look at this picture. This represents the standard definition of “success” – at least as it applies to or careers. In the ladder model of career success, the only possible way is up. It gets more precarious the higher you go – and there’s only room for one at the top. If I get there – you won’t. Not a very pleasant picture and yet that’s the definition of success that we’re indoctrinated with.
The other way is to think of your career – and your life – as a flowerThe petals are an overlapping sequence of experiences – and every experience in your life matters. The center of the flower is your self – something strong and constant from which these petals flower. As you move around your flower, things become richer rather than more dangerous. And there’s plenty of room for “success” for lots of people. INTERACTIVE EXERCISE: Let’s try that exercise again – turn to your neighbor – perhaps the person on the other side – and share a couple of things that you feel successful about – things that make you feel achievement, happiness, significance or legacy.
Many of you manage other people. Many of you are in organizations that think of career success as a pipeline or as climbing a ladder. Many of your employees carry those same expectations – they want a career path, they want to climb the ladder. (And if you manage millennials, they want it last week.) But organizations have flattened – there aren’t as many rungs on the ladder anymore. Funding for formal career development paths may have been cut in the past few years. So how do you help the people in your workgroup find success?
Discuss each possibility
The same fundamental principles apply with helping your own success – be honest with yourself about your goals, capacity, skills, drive. Embrace your own definition of success – not someone else’s. And consider a variety of options for approaching your career – options which may shift over time.
Corporate successEntrepreneurial (tell my story)Expert Alumni
Even with a shifting foundation, you have the ability to develop competence and experience while deciding what matters to you in terms of preferences (what kind of work do you want to do?) and availability (how much do you want to work? Where?) (what is YOUR success?)
The flower model offers more choice – but also means that you have to be more thoughtful – you’re in chargeWhat criteria can you use to make decisions about your career?
Refer back to “reaching remarkable”Look carefully at this flower – can you imagine your success? What petals are you pursuing right now? Are you letting yourself really blossom? For those of you that manage others, what opportunities are you providing for others to blossom? (pause 15 seconds) Thank you.
Portfolio Not Pipeline: Career Success- Margaretta Noonan
Portfolio Not Pipeline: Career Success Margaretta Noonan
What are the external factors driving this?• 10,000 baby boomer turn 65 every day• 1.5 million too few workers with college or graduate degrees by 2020 (Americas)• the trend to disaggregate jobs( breaking jobs down into specialized tasks) will pick up speed• there is unprecedented value placed on talent as the driver of business success which increases the competition for proven, talented employees