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  • Writer's pictureKrzysztof 'Chris' Daniel

#wardleymapping brings happy bosses.

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

Plenty of people consider talking about their image to be against moral rules. They believe it is a domain of sociopaths or show business, and there is little merit in thinking about your boss image. More than that, some people believe that wanting to make your boss 'look good' is a sign of servility and that it stops progress towards a better society.

Yet, at the same time, they complain their boss (or, in general, the company) is not behaving rationally and is not doing what it should be doing. Even more, it is ignoring the knowledge of the person who knows what the company/boss should do.

Depending on how do you look at this irrationality, you can see the failure of the organisation, where the organisation does not value the employee opinion or the failure of the employee who does not consider the landscape with all of the political conflicts as something that should influence their strategy.

Quite recently, I heard* that an informal network holds the knowledge in a corporation while the formal network holds executive power. If you think about it, it makes some sense - if everyone were allowed to make all sorts of decisions, we would get chaos. And your boss definitely is a member of the formal network, so if you want to get anything done, you need to consider this formal network to be a stakeholder just like everyone else.

Sure, we can wait another four centuries** until the corporations cease to exist, but you must admit it is a pretty long time, and none of us is likely to see this happening.

As much as I am not fun of the calcified power structures, I deeply believe that we cannot remove them anytime soon, and that a direct effort to dismantle them will actually make them stronger. I trust we need to be careful in our messaging not to cause the besieged fortress syndrome.

The simplest way to enter classical power structure is to recognise the needs of your boss. As I have said, your boss holds the executive power, and their ability to justify your thinking directly affects your opportunities. What your boss wants is to succeed, just as you do, and from your perspective, it does not take much to help them to achieve that success:

* tell your boss what you want to do and why

* tell your boss where are the risks

* provide your boss with a story they can reuse

The latter point is super important - you cannot expect your boss to stick your neck out for you unless you have communicated properly what are you going to do and why.

Now, if you use #wardleymapping to make your boss look good, you can squeeze all those important things usually in one, short conversation. Your boss will appreciate this, as you are not only helping them succeed but you also do the best for the organisation and you save your boss time.

#wardleymapping brings happy bosses and allows you to make better decisions.

Or quit.

* The wonderful group that brought this up was Bill Murray, Ben Ford, Chris Swan, Alex Kokkonen, Olivier Jacques, Nolan O'Dwyer, but I really do not remember who said it.

** the Lindy effect

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