(Realizing and Harnessing Self-Actualization in the Digital Age)
Maintaining a desired pool of capable and engaged talent has been one of the core strengths of exceptional organizations in terms of enabling them to dominate their industries. However, the conventional approach for embarking upon such initiatives has largely been dependent upon the personal expertise of eminent HR professionals backed by astute corporate leadership, rather than, a robust framework that can be reliably and robustly adopted/adapted by organizations with far less resources to hire premium talent in the HR space while negotiating the trials and tribulations of an apprehensive top management. One of the glaring shortcomings in the respective context are the tantalizingly deficient “Total Rewards’ packages lagging in an ‘invigorating employee experience’ (https://lnkd.in/evkNUirQ) and designed to hover around the ‘industry norms’ that often relegate corporate entities to self-inflicted mediocrity in terms of functional agility, talent relevancy, and organizational competitiveness while meeting the daunting challenges of the Digital Age. Consequently, success in the respective context varies along a wide bandwidth and abnormal attrition rates are a stark reminder of failures in stemming the outflow of ‘desired’ talent to opportunistic competitors.
On the other hand, the responsibility on professionals to ‘take charge’ of their own destinies has also become increasingly important due to the precariousness of careers in the Digital Age as AI-driven solutions/entities are being increasingly embraced by organizations to offset/minimize the uncertainties/complications related to maintaining a humanistic workforce. This requires a new kind of ‘self-actualization’ that can raise the level of ‘enlightenment’ among progressive professionals striving to seamlessly navigate the treacherous fluidity of the continuously evolving corporate environment for staying relevant and competitive through the timely development and astute utilization of a congruent skill set. The term, Cognizant Quantifier (CQ), and its associated equation has been created and developed as follows to facilitate such a journey of self-discovery:
CQ = (Knowledge of Self) x (Knowledge of Team) x (Knowledge of Function) x (Knowledge of Influencers) x (Knowledge of Organization)
In a more expanded form:
CQ = (KSelf) x (KSubordinates + KPeers + KSupervisors) x (KFunction) x (KNetworks + KMentors + KLeaders) x (KOrganization)
Note: The value of each component in the above equation varies between 0 (complete lack of knowledge) and 1 (complete mastery of knowledge)
Let’s explore the various constituent elements of the aforementioned formulation in more detail:
Knowledge of Self (KSelf)
This refers to having a clear realization/understanding/appreciation of one’s own purpose, motivation, talent, strengths and shortcomings, in terms of alignment of personal goals/objectives with those of the organization in a win-win situation. Following are some of the questions that can be used in the respective context:
- Have I found my ‘true calling’ in terms of being a professional?
- Am I intrinsically-driven in terms of achieving my professional goals/objectives?
- Do I have the necessary ‘skill set’ to stay relevant and competitive in the current and foreseeable professional environment?
- Do I have a robust and effective plan/approach/methodology to sustain my strengths?
- Do I have a robust and effective plan/approach/methodology to overcome my shortcomings?
Knowledge of Team (KSubordinates + KPeers + KSupervisors)
This refers to having a clear realization/understanding/appreciation of the purpose, motivation, talent, strengths and shortcomings, of the team (subordinates, peers, and supervisors) that engages with the respective professional to achieve goals/objectives of the organization. Following are some of the questions that can be used in the respective context:
- Do I have an unambiguous comprehension of the goals/objectives that are expected from the team and my own role as a team member?
- Am I intrinsically-driven in terms of providing my contributions as a team member and serve as a role model for others?
- Do I have a sound understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of my subordinates and am I able to channelize those effectively in terms of desired performance expectations?
- Do I have a sound understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of my peers and am I able to engage with them effectively in terms of desired performance expectations?
- Do I have a sound understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of my supervisors and am I able to provide my contributions effectively in terms of desired performance expectations?
Knowledge of Function (KFunction)
This refers to having a clear realization of the purpose, motivation, talent, strengths and shortcomings that define the function, within which; the professional is assigned a role to serve for enabling the fulfillment of the goals/objectives of the organization. Following are some of the questions that can be used in the respective context:
- Do I have a sound understanding of why the function, within which I work, exists in the organization?
- Am I aware of how the respective function is ‘evolving’ or ‘needs to evolve’ with respect to the dynamics of the Digital Age?
- Do I have the necessary ‘skill set’ to maintain my position as a valued member of the assigned function?
- Am I intrinsically-driven to play my part in assuring/ensuring the sustainable success of the respective function?
- Can I serve as a ‘positive ambassador’ for the assigned function in front of professionals from other functions within the organization?
Knowledge of Influencers (KNetworks + KMentors + KLeaders)
This refers to having a clear realization of the purpose, motivation, talent, strengths and shortcomings, of the people that the professional ‘looks up to’ or ‘seeks guidance from’ in terms of career development/progression/sustainability while contributing to the fulfillment of the goals/objectives of the organization. Following are some of the questions that can be used in the respective context:
- Have I been ‘formally assigned a mentor’ or ‘taken guidance from someone whom I see as a mentor’ within the organization?
- Do I ‘maintain cordial relations with’ or ‘am I a part of’ a powerful network within the organization?
- Have I had an opportunity to showcase my talent in front of the senior/top leadership of the organization?
- Do I have a sound understanding of the mindset of the top/senior leadership in terms of their ability to steer the organization in a productive and profitable manner?
- Has my career growth/development/progression been positively impacted by the way that I have utilized relevant influencers?
Knowledge of Organization (KOrganization)
This refers to having a clear realization of the vision, mission, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, pertaining to the organization as it strives to stay relevant and competitive in the relevant business environment and its associated ecosystem. Following are some of the questions that can be used in the respective context:
- Do I have a clear understanding of the vision and mission of the organization and its strategic imperatives?
- Am I aware of the current business reputation of my organization and its stature within the relevant industry?
- Am I aware of the ecosystem associated with the organization and the relevant opportunities and threats, especially, in terms of ongoing/potential disruptions?
- Am I aware of any proposed/contemplated/authorized structural changes that could have a profound impact on the organization, e.g., reducing current hierarchies, rightsizing/furloughing/outsourcing the workforce, merging departments/divisions, buying new businesses, shifting to hybrid working, adding more AI-driven entities in the workplace, being targeted for merger or acquisition by another organization, etc.?
- Am I aware of the effectiveness of the ‘risk management plans’ that the organization has in terms of its ability to continue as a ‘going concern’ in precarious economic situations, e.g., surviving the COVID-19 pandemic and thriving in the aftermath pertaining to the ‘new normal’?
The aforementioned criteria and sample questions have been provided to serve as a beacon for proactive action since timely realization of the changing professional landscape due to disruptive innovation and the level of corresponding astute adaptability will determine the scale of career progression, career stagnation or career obsolescence for diligent professionals in the foreseeable future. Will you heed the call for adjustment accordingly?
Author: Murad Salman Mirza https: www.linkedin.com/in/muradsalmanmirza
This article is part of the MEA HR Contributor Series. The author is an expert in their field and contributes to MEA HR & Learning. We are honored to feature and promote their contribution on our website. Please note that the author is not employed by MEA HR and the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect official views or opinions of MEA HR.