I deal with a lot of people in major corporates who have roles to develop and promote cross functional business design - business architecture. Often they have been promoted into the role or have worked elsewhere and arrive with enthusiasm and drive to do the right thing.
I usually meet them because they know I work in this space or from the various websites and blogs I maintain and usually it is from a training point of view. Some are at a sufficient level or have influence to access budget and discussions move forward to a satisfactory piece of training or supportive consultancy work. On the other hand I find individuals whose organisations have given them a role, reasonably paid at that, but then fail to support them in their personal development or provide funding for tools and software.
The latter part around the subject of tools is also interesting in that recently I did some training for an organisation and was a little surprised to find process mapping being done using PowerPoint. Visio was not even available because there was no budget or the organisation was just making it too difficult to obtain anything. The employee said
“Doing anything here is like walking in six inches of syrup!”
In some cases this situation creates the scenario where one gets an email or phone call asking for materials to assist – free of charge of course - and this is difficult because one doesn’t want to come across as unhelpful but on the other hand the freelancer has to make a living. This is particularly emphasised by the fact that many organisations that these people work for are some of the largest and wealthiest corporations in the economy. In reality the employee has no power or authority and getting approval to do anything is just too hard. The waste of this Syrup must be extensive if we extrapolate it across the knowledge worker population.
What underlies this is the fact that employees tasked to deliver do not have the empowerment to engage the resources that they need to be effective – they are as the client above said – working in corporate syrup. Surely if we employ expensive people we need to fund the whole package: training personal development, tools and culturally make the organisation able to innovate and change else these appointments are potentially futile.