I value the ancient wisdom of Socrates. ”The unexamined life is not worth living.” As a former metal health practitioner, I encourage everyone to take the inner journey to self-understanding. Self-examination that leads to clarity and purpose – enables a person to change. In my work now as a behaviorist and change management facilitator, I believe the forces of life significantly influence people. Happily, becoming more aware of external and internal forces can uncover new possibilities to shape the future they want.
Self-examination and awareness are important to every business.
Businesses that understand their place in the marketplace can make more prudent and better strategic decisions. Analyzing external variables of demographics, economics, technology, and the like contribute to smarter choices. Regular analysis such as GAP, S.W.O.T. and Root Cause, and evaluating strategies and tactics, make good sense for business directors.
Large companies with deep resources are especially keen on organizational analysis. They typically have departments staffed to address and improve culture, leadership, employee engagement, and customer experience. They allocate time and money to turn over all the stones, and find where the problems lie. They use comparative analytics to see how their company performs compared to competitors in their relative markets – to discover even small competitive advantages. They review long-term research statistics, to finetune company performance and adjust continuously.
But what about the small company that must operate with tight budgets and busy schedules? The rub is that they encounter the same market and organizational pressures as large companies, albeit on a smaller scale.
Small companies can still become more self-examined and more self-aware. It does not take a lot of money or time. Take an afternoon with key employees to clarify company vision, mission, and purpose. Spend a few hours to work through a cultural or employee engagement exercise. Ask questions of employees and customers to understand what is working and what isn’t.
Individual and organizational self-awareness can pay off immensely in productivity and effectiveness. Managers and supervisors can take stock of their strengths and gaps in performance, and determine what leadership potential they have … to help them become more than just managers.
There is no autopilot setting for business.
Small companies need to know which training and development exercises will help them reach the next level of success. The status quo will get you the same results you already have. It might take someone from the outside to help you become more aware of your current processes – giving you objectivity, perspective, and expertise that doesn’t reside inside your company.
The inscription at the ancient Oracle of Delphi was “Know Thyself.” We say, “Know Thy Company.”