Sep 16, 2005

Building your Organizational Quotient



Most of the time professionals focus on building one's competencies regarding the career so much, they forget that they are part of a larger subsystem called the organization, which has its own demand on the career of the people who work for it.

The relationship between an employee and the organization is under change. Earlier it used to be lifelong and the relationship was that of a passive receiver and a benevolent giver. Those were the days of large corporations and work that depended on following instructions blindly.
However the advent of the "knowledge economy" changed all that. Slowly, employees realized the value of the knowledge that he brought to the office and demanded more than what others were getting. Now knowledge firms are smaller and the nowhere is the concept of lifelong employment even tacitly admitted to.


There are three things you need to be aware about when you think of your career in an organization:

  1. Congruence between your values and the organizational values
  2. The psychological contract between the organization and yourself
  3. The explicit deliverables operating between the organization and you.

Let us take them one by one.

Value congruence.

This basically refers to the degree to which the organizational value and your values match. So if the organization stresses speed over reflection do you do the opposite ? If yes, then both parties will experience tension in the relationship and usually the employee leaves the organization for one, which matches his/her temperament better.

The psychological contract

This refers to the unsaid assumptions that operate between both parties. Think for yourself . Do you expect something from your organization that is not happening? Examine your assumptions. How did this expectation occur in first place? Mostly such kind of assumptions are carried by both sides on the basis of expected models of behaviour. These are usually shared meanings and metaphors of employment that are usually outmoded and outdated and need to be re-examined.

The explicit deliverables
Do you know what is expected from you by your organization and what you have to do to complete it?

Rarely are organizational deliverables for an individual alone. Usually it is for a team. Are communication lines clear in your team? If not, then you need to bring it to the organization¿s notice and clarify things.
Do you know where your work fits in, in the larger scheme of things for the organization ? The more critical things you are involved in, the better. Remember, the more peripheral the job you are doing, the more is the chance for you to get left behind.

Do you know what your career path is going to be for the next two three years (anything beyond that is not worth planning) ?
Can you negotiate for more rewarding jobs that enrich you better ?
Reflect on the above points to know how aware are you about the relationship between you and your organization. And keep doing it every now and then. Keep yourself abreast of changing trends in the industry and economy that would influence the way your organization works or even its very survival.