An individual’s strategy is much like an organization’s strategy. In its own way there are stakeholders, opportunities, challenges, strengths, a market environment and more. A colossal organization must do much of the same things as an individual in order for his, her or their strategy to be successful. To be effective working within an organization’s strategy, all of the component elements (business units, products, services, teams, on down through individuals) must be in alignment. In order to find which organization would be the best one to utilize your strengths, aspirations and ideals, find your own personal strategy so that you can add your resources and capabilities the most effectively.
-Increasing Self Awareness and Knowledge-
When organizations design and implement strategy, information gathering inside and outside the organization is constantly being gathered. Strategy models are done to evaluate how an organization might be comparatively positioned against competitors, organize the innovation pathways inside an organization, map out the abilities, competence, and opportunities of an organization, and to find out many other helpful sources of information. Strategic dialogues and planning organize, communicate, and harness the possibilities to prepare and coordinate an organization’s efforts. An organization should be aware of itself and of its surroundings. Informed decision making leads to better implementation and results.
Individuals are no different in that they too should understand themselves and what is around them. Creating plans, methods, and approaches are all valuable. However, it can be more difficult to get to the core of oneself where the most valuable information is stored. Self awareness is what brings forth the deep, impactful and most important information for a person. Awareness of information leads to knowledge. The application, digestion, and realization as to what the knowledge means to a person create wisdom. The more wisdom a person has, the more authentic the person can be. From that, living the person’s strategy to achieve, be or do whatever he or she wants is much easier and attainable. When you know what you want, you can define success, understand what to accomplish, and find what it means to win in your market.
The first step, which should be revisited over time, is to cultivate self awareness. This can be accomplished through many means. There are tools, activities, resources and so forth that enable information gathering and presentation. Everyone is different as to how they learn and their comfort level with experimentation, reflection, risk taking, and taking action. I outlined how I feel a personal strategy should be discovered, cultivated and realized in my earlier article “Finding, living and thriving in your Personal Strategy”. From my own journey I have found many different ways of becoming more aware. Here is a sample
Tools and Assessments:
- Myers Briggs personality test – this is a well known test that can show where and how you fit for a career or role
- FIRO-B (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation) – this test shows three categories (inclusion, control, and affection) along with what you express versus what you actually want
- Birkman – this longer online tool gives more on stresses, behaviors, relationship approach, interests and organizational focus. It’s pretty thorough and helpful. As an added interest point, it can be used as a comparison tool to another who’s taken the tool to see how compatible you may be with a team or an individual
- ESCI (Emotional Social Competency Inventory) – this is a 360 assessment that gives information regarding emotional intelligence by pulling in peers, significant other, bosses, friends, colleagues, subordinates and more to give a more holistic picture
- StrengthFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath – this short online assessment and book list your top 5 strengths. The book is helpful in that it gives situations, explanations, and ideas for partnership or enablement for you to exhibit your strengths
- POQ (Philosophical Orientation Questionnaire) – this assessment shows you the relative priorities you take in your decision making and approach in three categories (human, intellect, and practical)
- LSI (Learning Style Indicator) – this tool plots where and how you fit best within a learning cycle
- Writing your own autobiography – the sheer amount of time, dedication and depth that this can involve is impressive. With a series of leading questions to ensure that relationships, critical points of change or influence, and evolution of the individual is brought up this is a very powerful and revealing activity
- Finding, contracting and working with a professional coach – there are many kinds of coaches, which can help in various ways. At their core, coaches help you to think and work in different ways to see more of what is possible and help you to reach your goals
- Working in a team where everyone really gets to know each other well, shares and takes in feedback constructively, and invests yourself to allow for risks taking and growth
- Writing out your “Bucket List” – while this may be seen as morbid by some, it can be seen as a way of living life to its fullest by an optimist
- Partnership with those close to you – I have found that my fiancé is a fantastic source of inspiration, information and intrigue. Having someone close that provides helpful, constructive feedback is a great source of information and potential growth
- Writing out your dreams using a set of SMARTER goals (Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic, Time Frame, Engaging, and Rewarding) – this may be very similar to the Bucket List but more reaching and encompassing
- Conducting a Best Self Appreciative Inquiry exercise with your network to give you a picture of your best self
- Taking time to reflect, renew, understand, and learn from your own experiences – It can help you speed up in the long run if you take time out to slow down from time to time
The path a person takes to walk their personal strategy is unique to each individual. The more effective people are more aware of themselves and those around them. Information or knowledge alone is not power unless it holds meaning or relevance. Self awareness helps shape knowledge into wisdom for a person. I’ve given a short list of some pursuits I have found value in. I encourage readers to provide resources and ideas on what has helped them in their personal learning, development and growth. There are numerous other resources available that are just awaiting you to find them. The doors of opportunity may be all around you, but you need to be aware of them to answer the doors that open.
“Finding, living and thriving in your Personal Strategy” Organizational Strategist blog article: http://blog.seattlepi.com/organizationalstrategist/archives/199444.asp