It is the nature of our market that we frequently engage with senior HR staff that understands the problem space extremely well. We often find ourselves being asked to help them ‘sell the solution’ to decision makers in the organization, or even worse watching helplessly from the sideline while they attempt to do it.
Here’s a mildly radical suggestion; sell the problem not the solution.
Whoa, you say; isn’t that potentially career limiting? I suppose there is always that chance. There is a certain sub-culture of some senior management that often doesn’t realize there is a problem. Could be their heads are blissfully in the sand, but more often it is just the dynamic nature of business that they need to be informed on the depth or breadth of organizational problems.
There is a simple way to combat the negative connotation. No problem discussion should ever happen without hinting that there is a solution, especially one that other firms are using. That’s where you should be leveraging your relationship with your solution provider, us.
We not only have the experience but the references. Including your vendors in the conversation may also be a wise choice. We have (or better have) pretty thick skin. We have been through these conversations many times, and we offer something else. In another life at a large firm, I used to encourage my staff to make proposals to senior management. An immediate concern was always what if they don’t like it? I told them, “That’s what I’m here for; if they love it, it is your idea, if they hate it, I’ll just take responsibility”.
As solution providers we should and do take responsibility. We like to think of ourselves as partners with our clients. Let us be your partner for core compensation management solutions, job description solutions or HCM consulting.