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Building Added Value Professional Support Functions
by Duncan Brodie

For professionals not involved in sales or front line service delivery it can sometimes feel like what you are doing is not adding value or your value is not recognised.

So how can you start to build credibility and really demonstrate the value you deliver to your organisation?

Get Clear On What You Are Here To Do

It might seem like a really obvious question but:

* What are you here to do?

* Are you only interested in your area of expertise, say Finance, HR or Law?

* How interested are you in other areas of the business?

* Do you want to train executives and managers on how to be more knowledgeable in your areas of expertise?

* What impact do you want to make?

Get Clear On The Benefits You Deliver

One of the key questions others outside of professional support services function might ask is:

How is the business getting benefit from the significant amount of investment in the professional support functions?

Could you list 10 benefits that your function will bring to the business? Within the 10 is there at least one benefit that is so compelling that managers will be eager to work with you?

Find Out What Your Clients Want

When was the last time that you did some structured research to find out what your clients want? Being clear about what they want allows you to respond to their needs and add value.

Create A Vision For Your Function

In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, one of the habits Stephen Covey promotes is to 'Begin With The End In Mind.' At a basic level this means what outcomes do you want.

Develop and Implement an Action Plan To Take You Forward

Now that you are clear what you are here to do, the difference you want to make, know what your clients want and the outcomes you want to achieve you can start thinking about how to create it. Document it in action plan with clearly defined deliverables.

Review, Refine and Adapt Your Plan

Even with the best of intentions, you are not likely to get it 100% right immediately. Set up a process for getting feedback from the business on the changes you are making and the impact that they are having. Use the feedback process to adjust and revise your plans so that the whole focus is on continuous improvement.

Professional support functions have a tremendous amount to offer businesses but will encounter resistance. Continuing to build the credibility of your function can transform functions from technically great specialists to essential business advisors who make outstanding contributions to business success.

Duncan Brodie may be contacted at
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements Ltd (G&A) works with individuals, teams and organisations to develop their management and leadership capability. Sign up for his free e-course and monthly newsletter at



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