If you're still reading, please believe me that I don't know how I managed to come up with this. Sometimes I'm really good at creative strategies for problem-solving, and those moments always come like a stroke of lightning. Afterwards I say to myself, "Wow. How ever did I think of that? Sometimes I amaze even myself."
Forgive me for bragging.
Here's how it went.
I have a friend who works way too hard at her job. She's excellent at what she does, but she has lots of responsibilities, plus she wants to move her department forward, not just do what's required but expand their services, make a mark, and make a difference for her clients. Which means nights, weekends, high stress, overload, and so on.
When we manage to squeeze in a lunch or a sunshine break (a few minutes outside, mid-afternoon), she often talks about how she'd like a new job, a new focus, more time for personally beneficial things like exercise or maybe going back to school, and so on. She's yearning for a change, but at the same time she wants her department to continue to progress. That makes it hard to set limits and cut back without sacrificing results, which she isn't willing to do.
Recently one of the people she supervises left for another position, so she's interviewing for a replacement. The open position pays less, has important but lighter responsibilities, and is much more 9-to-5 in nature. My friend interviewed someone who was frankly overqualified for the job, someone who has more experience than she herself has, who would be great in the position. My friend expressed concern that this superqualified person might feel stymied by being second fiddle in the department hierarchy, plus getting a lower salary.
So I said, "Why don't you hire her for your job? And you take the position that's open?"
Creative, huh? It sounds like a win-win to me, and with the right explanation I think people would accept it without any significant loss of face for my friend.
I don't know if she'll do it, but she's definitely thinking about it. So at least I can feel good about that! And hopefully keep the "genius" channel open for the next time I need a big idea.