Let’s say you’re the kind of person who is constantly looking for ways to improve, both yourself, and the world around you (at least to the extent you think it’s possible). Maybe you come up with some idea for improving your workplace that involves educational initiatives, and let’s say that your job is one that requires constant learning – so it seems like a no brainer, right? The problem is, you need resources from higher level management to pull it off.
You pitch it to your bosses and they seem completely enthused and fully supportive, except for the resources part. That part not so much. What do you do?
Before I answer, let me state that I think this is an issue for anyone at any organization who attempts to facilitate change, and quite frankly, I get it. Resources equals money, and to allocate money, no matter how high up the ladder you are, you must ultimately justify it to someone else. There is always someone higher up to answer to who could probably care less about allocating funds for education to workers on the front line. After all, this is America, and profit drives everything.
So you have two choices. One is to bail and congratulate yourself for at least trying to improve things. The other is to scale the thing down, somehow, so that it requires no resources from management. In other words, make do with what you’ve got. The whole thing might still fail, but at least now you will have really tried to make something happen with essentially nothing. You might still be able to spark some enthusiasm in someone else in your workplace who in turn will take the idea and run with it.
In other words, don’t fold like a cheap suit at the first sign of resistance. Show some grit and come up with some other strategy. At the end of the day, win or lose, you can rest knowing you are part of the solution and not part of the problem.