Monday, November 22, 2010

How Organization Savvy Are You?

While intelligence, technical know-how and experience help in getting the job done, it is organizational savvy that makes employees contribute more to the success of the organization that also lead to their own professional success.  There is so much more to joining a company than logging in for work and getting the work done. An organization is a living system and the condition of its existence is reflected by how well the people in it show their understanding of the importance of the organization. How well do you contribute to organizational effectiveness? Here are a few statements to reflect on. You may rate yourself using the following scale:

1 – Nope, absolutely not me
2 – There are those few fleeting moments when I think about it
3 – Somewhat like me
4 – I breath it, I live it, yep, definitely me

1.    _______I know the company’s mission, vision and core values and what they mean. I strive to live by them as I also expect others to do so.
2.    _______I treat customers as the most important persons in our business. I go the extra mile in order to exceed their expectations
3.    _______I do not let internal problems leak out to clients because it doesn’t serve a purpose. I instead call the company’s attentions to these problems or help in solving them.
4.    _______I concern myself with company goings on by reading memos and new policies. I ask questions when I don’t understand and express my opinion when I don’t agree with some policies while keeping my mind open to other reasons why such policies are implemented.
5.    _______I expect to be heard even if I am not the leader but I do not expect to be followed if the leader does not agree with my opinion. I understand that the ultimate authority, responsibility and accountability for such decisions are not mine but of my superiors, hence I commit to team action plans even when I don’t agree with it initially.
6.    _______I understand that in order for a business to continue, it needs to be profitable; hence I exert effort to contribute to its profitability by increasing my productivity and managing resources assigned to me including materials, IT resources and company time.
7.    _______I know that in order to contribute more, I need to learn more and perform better, hence I engage in quests for personal improvements by reading books related to my work or attending training.
8.    _______I envision becoming one of the leaders of the organization. I prepare my self by learning about leadership and management.
9.    _______I’m not a jerk. I deal with my co-workers and leaders respectfully. I’m not difficult to deal with; I try not to make life difficult for others.  I do not insult or give insulting remarks to others that will adversely affect their self esteem. (See  The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't)
10.  _______I participate in company activities like general assemblies, company outing, parties and others not only for my own enjoyment but to grab the opportunity to connect with the rest of the team on a more personal level. This is because I accept that it is the employees’ individual responsibility to help build a positive working environment by making themselves available in these company events.

Ed’s Interpretation

31-40:  You’re the man/woman! You have a high organization savvy quotient! Organizations need people like you. You have a complete appreciation of the roles individuals play when they join the organization. You also completely immerse and align yourself with the organization you join. People like you are often trusted and respected in the organization and often move up to take on bigger responsibilities in the company.

21 – 30: You are almost there. You understand the roles and responsibilities, you strive to contribute more but are having problem with consistency.  You may use the aforementioned questions as a checklist of the things you need to improve on in order to contribute optimally to organizational effectiveness.

16 – 20: You probably appreciate your value to the organization and vice versa but are having problems with the amount of commitment you are willing to make. It’s either because you haven’t built enough emotional attachment to the organization you are working with or are still lacking in personal direction. You need to decide if you believe in the company you are working for and the people you are working with. The sooner you are able to establish personal concern for the betterment of the organization and the people in it, the better your level of organizational engagement will be.

10 to 15: You must have thought that you are being paid for your precious time and not much else. You are a genius at finding ways to escape responsibilities and are most likely coasting along until you find the next best opportunity to be paid higher for coasting along. You need to reevaluate your values. And decide whether you can make a commitment to other people or just yourself. If you can’t work with other people, why don’t you try just working for yourself.

It is not one’s tenure or the number of hours spent at work that determines the employee’s level of engagement but his or her ability to align with the organization’s purpose, cooperate in all it’s action and help create a positive working environment that exudes trust, respect and support. Organizational savvy is a competency that one can bring along wherever one goes. And wherever one goes with this competency, one is sure to succeed.

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