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Do they want a job – really?

A friend was telling me today that he met a young man who queued for two hours to apply for a job at a new supermarket. This young man was amazed that people behind him in the queue, who also waited two hours, were in torn singlets and barefeet. “Were they serious?”, he asked.

I have been amazed myself at the non-chalant attitude I have struck when handling recruitment for my clients. A recent experience was a young woman apparently very keen on the role, only to phone 15 minutes before her interview to advise that she had forgotten she had a medical appointment. We rescheduled and interviewed her. To be honest she was a good fit for the role but after waiting a week for her to get back with her referee information we gave the role to someone else. I’m sure anyone who has recruited for long can come up with their own stories.

So do these people really want a job? I believe they do. I just think they haven’t made the conceptual connections between their own behaviour and their likelihood of getting a job. Call it lack of maturity or self-centredness. Either way, it’s a lack of thinking.

It is similar to people in organisations who do things that are completely the opposite of what needs to be done for that organisation to achieve its strategies. Somehow they don’t make the connection between their day to day decisions and processes, and the longer term outcomes for the organisation.

It’s really important to develop strategical savvy, so that you can make those linkages and show to your boss that you understand the impact you have on her/his bottom line and strategic success.

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3 ways to predict the future

To be an effective strategic thinker, it is essential to be able to think about your organisation in a future context. What’s the quickest and easiest way to figure out what that future might look like? Most of us don’t have a reliable crystal ball, so here’s three other methods, that are not too onerous:

1. Look for trends. In this time of information overload, it’s almost impossible to read and absorb everything. However, it is much easier than it used to be to identify trends. Once you start looking for trends in information you can identify more likely future scenarios. Trends start in the past so don’t forget to factor in what’s happened before (history repeats!).

2. Look for relevant information. If your organisation is in the Arts sector, what’s predicted for the primary industries may have little or no impact on you, but what’s happening in the home entertainment industry might. Look for relevant information and you will filter out a large percentage, more easily identifying trends relevant to you.

3. Read beyond the popular press. A lot of media space covers major world events that may have little relevance to your organisation’s future. Watch out for the smaller articles that may contain some gem of information. Read more in-depth magazines or find experts on-line who are worth listening to. Look up ‘futurists’ in wikipedia and check out some of their predictions that may be relevant to you. They do a lot of analysis for you.

It’s not likely you will predict everything about the future, but you can develop some realistic scenarios that help you better prepare your organisation for the future. You may also like to subscribe to my e-zine to get regular free articles aand other information to develop your strategic thinking skills. Go to http://www.strategies-direct.com.

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