Organizational Understanding To be competent in organizational understanding you must first understand the workings, structure, and culture of the organization. Additionally, organizational understanding includes the political, social, and economic climate in which the organization operates.Leaders who want to grow within their organizations must understand how to be successful and forge an upward path. Successful leaders have a keen understanding of the organization’s processes, established policies, and desired outcomes or future state. Organizational assessments are one way to gleam information that is difficult to attain at the surface level of the company. It is impossible to coordinate teams and departments within an organization to develop a cohesive project plan without a thorough understanding of the organizational structure and process first. Organizational understanding is a vital core competency.
Organizational Understanding in Leadership There are many channels through which we can increase our organizational understanding as leaders. Finding a mentor within the organization and listening to company stories (or legends) can help a new leader gain perspective on the culture of the organization. Leaders can familiarize themselves with the economic climate in their specific markets through personal research and organizational studies. We can navigate the political structure of organizations through established chains of command and defined organizational roles.As leaders, understanding our organizations is an integral part of helping to guide it towards success. Navigating the avenues towards organizational understanding requires the utilization of many resources and is an ongoing process.
Artifact The most useful course in organizational understanding for me was Assessment in Organizations (OGL 357). Organizational assessment is a systematic process for obtaining valid information about the performance of an organization and the factors that affect performance. Also, there are many ways to assess an organization from different perspectives. For example, the Good-to-Great assessment model heavily focuses on leadership while LESAT examines an organization's current state and their desired future state to identify gaps. Organizations can also create their own assessments that are more dynamic and cover more bases. While it is difficult to gain insight into organizational culture and social dynamics through assessments, there is plenty of relevant information for increasing organizational understanding. My artifact is a discussion on what organizational understanding could be obtained through organizational assessments for two distinct organizations: Wells Fargo and Southwest Airlines.
Reflection Organizational Understanding in Organizational Leadership It comes as no surprise that organizational understanding is extremely relevant in OGL courses. Future organizational leaders should make researching their prospective organizations a top priority when considering their career options. As a woman, I want to know that my organization has policies and established practices in place to shatter the glass ceiling and facilitate my career development. My friends, fellow students, and coworkers who face challenges like minority discrimination and exclusion need to know that the company they have an interview withwill fight against the toxic practices that would hold them back. And once we have chosen our organization, we need to know how to traverse the political, cultural, and structural challenges along the way. A successful company is ever evolving with the shifts and developments in their market. Subsequently, organizational understanding is an ongoing process in organizational leadership.
Personal Growth & Development I have often found the prospect of working as a project manager in a large organization a daunting one. I know that Starbucks, for example, has a lot of complexity in their operational structure largely because they have worked to develop or obtain brands that operate exclusively under the Starbucks umbrella. There are several teams that are involved in building or remodeling a Starbucks store. I used to get frustrated when I would call the number for facilities and wait on hold for several minutes just to find out that I should have called Enterprise help desk. My OGL program at ASU has given me insight and understanding into the complexity of large organizations in ways that do not seem as scary or overwhelming as they once were. I am currently exploring prospective careers with CarMax after graduation, as they have their home office in Richmond. I initially thought I would use my degree to work for a smaller, local business. Now, I am very open to the prospect of much bigger and better things.