- Business and Employment
What Unique Value Do You Add?
The Unique You
What Are You Good At?
Like a good GP in medicine, it seemed to me that I'm not an expert in any one thing. But as a generalist with a great deal of experience, I am the perfect oxy-moron, an expert generalist! So, I began to ponder and maybe, I am an expert ponderer or even a dreamer.
I wanted something different as many of us often do. I pondered acting in a play, or singing that song everyone clicks at Youtube, or maybe a genius programmer, now working on the replacement for Facebook.
I pondered being an expert gardener, tango dancer, or a flute player. I am not any of that nor do I have any real targeted talent in those ways. At the end of the ponder came a big sigh. I am just an ordinary person living a somewhat unordinary life. Somehow, genius has passed me by.
Still, I am one of those who believe that each one of us has a special gift that defines our lives. This is the reason why we are here, unique and different from everyone else. The snowflake syndrome. So, I started to reflect on this aspect: what makes me different from the other 7 billion?
A New Kind of Expertise
My husband and I work as consultants. While it is a challenge at times, it is so much more fun and challenging as you stretch your mind and dig deep into your experience for options to bring up or ascertain the reach you can push the minds of many other bright people to handle tricky situations.
Here's a book you can learn from. It tells us that any expertise can be leveraged in this new economy to respond to the concerns of today's organizations as they adapt to the new demands of today's world.
Find out the changes going on the world of work and hone in your own talent to respond to this in a more meaningful and productive way.
What Do People Value in You?
What Do People Appreciate in You?
My reflection led me to consider what people seem to appreciate in me. What makes them seem happier after some time with me. Perhaps, this is what I am good at. I seem to inspire trust, and more self-confidence in those I met. This includes trust in one's self, trust in others, trust that circumstances will usually lead to what is good. I seem to be good at making others believe that good can always come out of any person, event or situation.
Because of this, I often encourage people to be more than what they are; to reach for their potential, and to chase their dreams. In my former position of leading teachers and students in a large private school, I was always very good at pushing those around me to respond to challenges and aspire to be the best that they could be. This is probably the reason why I pursued a PhD in Organization Development because it occurred to me that I could help organizations and people within the organization to grow, adapt to change and evolve into a healthy and dynamic organism.
What services do you readily offer?
What has been my own experience?
So I am an Organization Development Specialist. What do I do? What services do I offer?
Well, for a start, I help organizations identify where they want to be in a few years time. This includes identifying their vision, mission, goals and values. Then, we assess where they are at now, what their resources are and the steps they need to take to reach where they want to be.
Sometimes, what I do is assess how and why organizations get stuck and then we design interventions to get them out of that rut and start growing to become what they feel they need to be. Sometimes, organizations just want to ensure that they operate effectively so I assess the gaps in their internal processes and plan interventions needed.
In short, I do what is necessary to make organizations function more effectively in their terms and to build the confidence to really reach and stretch if that is needed.
I offer services that include assessment of strengths, needs and resources. Sometimes, we also try scenario planning. This helps organizations, companies or institutions see the future and scan for trends that might impact their own business or service. It can help them prepare for both short term and long term changes or mitigate the adverse effects of these events. (Think of Dell not understanding that notebooks and Smart phones were going to change their world!)
I also do change or transition management. No one likes change no matter what our rhetoric is. It requires new adjustment that takes us out of our comfort zone. But do we have a choice? None whatsoever unless you want to end up a relic.
In some cases, change can be drastic if they want to continue and not disappear. In this case, people within the organizations have to be helped to think through ways to implement sometimes massive change (IBM) with limited negative impact on current operation.
Here's the top expert on Organization Development - An Author I Recommend
Peter Drucker is the guru of organization development. His wisdom and experience in this area is worth reading.
I think I have read all the books Drucker has ever penned. He is a guru as far as I am concerned in the area I have chosen. I also discovered that once in a while I need a boost to my day and a quote or two would often do that. I don't know what gives you a boost but I implore you to try this.
Here's a poll for you
Do you know well what makes you unique as a person?
What Gifts and Skills Do You Add?
Some of the skills I employ are assessment, problem identification and solving, designing interventions, training, evaluation, visioning, scenario planning and management. But most of all I depend on the talent to build trust between myself and some VERY worried people who know change is coming down the tracks heading at them and need the self confidence to build a new track quickly.
Your Unique Value
Have you identified your unique value?
Building Confidence to Manage and Direct change
What do you focus on?
At present, I have focused my expertise on educational institutions where our company's day to day consulting experience has really centered. We enable education systems to respond to the shifting demands of modern economies, the needs expressed by increasing vocal students, and the often frustrating demands of completely unrealistic parents.
We help educational systems and institutions become more entrepreneurial, more linked to the demands of the real world, more able to support themselves and innovate programs that respond more to what employers are crying for . We work on policies that are more effective for education systems to pursue and implement so their citizens are able to survive and then compete in an economy and an international society that seems to have no border. With experience in over 60 countries, we really have a sense of how this all plays out.
We often become part of a team doing this work, contributing our particular expertise to the total work that needs to be done in re-tuning an education system. There are many consultants with specific expertise in finance, MIS, civil works, product, QA etc. But until a system or institution can really manage its fear of change and trust itself to explore and discover what's next, none of the specific changes will be even tried.
So, what I seem to be an expert in is building confidence in people that they can manage change and even direct it.
I bet you are. I know I have just been talking about myself and I beg your indulgence. The key thing is all of us, each one of us has a unique gift and the world is not complete when we deprive it of its value.
© 2012 Mary Norton