Training Course

Organisational Awareness

Introduction

Organisational Awareness is the capability of perceiving and understanding the different components of an organization, both through its formal elements as well as through the formal patterns that emerge in the organization. It also includes the understanding of political, social and economic issues affecting the organization and its environment. Organisational Awareness provides the ability to read a group's emotional currents and power relationships, and identify influencers, networks, and dynamics within the organization. Leaders who can recognize networking know how to find the right person to make key decisions and how to form a coalition to get opportunities and read key power relationships are better equipped to handle the demands of leadership. Such leaders not only understand the forces at work in an organization, but also the guiding values and unspoken rules that operate among people. People skilled at the organizational awareness competency can sense the personal networks that make the organization run, and something done.

The unique challenges and opportunities in India, along with an unprecedented digital penetration and IT literate workforce have necessitated creation of a framework that is unique to the world and has not been attempted before. It is imperative to design and develop a Framework of Roles, Activities and Competencies(FRAC) model for the central government with a focus on molding a ‘fit for future’ central government servant. Also, to make ccontinuous improvements will be an ongoing effort to improve all elements of the organization and it rests on the belief that a steady stream of improvements, diligently executed, will have transformational results....

Author-Air Commodore Rajesh Bhandari

Description  

Conceptual Background

It is often said that Indian bureaucrats are a major reason why India is not progressing at the speed it could have. It is also said that the recruitment and post-recruitment ecosystem of government servants is outdated and for a like India, it needs a major upgrade. Mission Karmayogi was launched on 20 September 2020 by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, who led Union Cabinet. Mission Karmayogi - National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB) – is meant to reform Indian bureaucracy and prepare civil servants for the future. The programme aims “comprehensive reform of the capacity building apparatus at individual, institutional and process levels for efficient public service delivery”.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, during a press conference, said that ‘the mission aims to prepare civil service officers for the future by making them more “creative, constructive, imaginative, innovative, proactive, professional, progressive, energetic, enabling, transparent and technology-enabled.'

Discussion

An Impetus on developing a range of general and specialist skills, which would meet the needs of the organisation are the  important aspects of the Organisation Awareness. Following skill sets will be needed to develop and further improved in a government servant to enable the organization attains transformational results and best possible output:-

  1. Communication Skills. Continuous improvement in written and speaking skills of a government servant can enable bring transformational results in his area of responsibility. It will generate a better flow of instructions, feedback mechanism and will facilitate continues liaison with all concerned.
  2. Analytical and Research Skills. The government servant will need to be trained to analyse the situation, think of all possible scenarios, and to carry out the necessary research. Being analytical and also have strong research skills would differentiates one government servant from the other. It means that good thoughts and ideas by the civil servants will be a great advantage to the organization  and results in transformation.
  3. Flexibility / Adaptability.   An ability to manage multiple assignments at the same time, and being flexible enough to work under ever changing conditions, management, environment and rules is highly appreciated in any organisation.  In today’s fast changing world, a job description is very fluid, and can change shape at any time. A government servant who is willing to work under a multitude of changing circumstances is highly sought after. Being able to adapt from one working environment to the next, or even from one type of assignment to another, is a big advantage. It demonstrates the individual’s commitment to the organisation, and will influence their career progression.
  4. Interpersonal Abilities.   The ability to build relationships with those around under   any circumstances, and the ability to inspire them to do what needs to be done is essential requirement of any good organisation.
  5. Decision Making.   The ability to identify complex problems and review   related information in order to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions, can distinguish one government servant from another. The ability to solve complex problems will set an individual apart.
  6. Leadership and Management Skills.  The ability to manage people is a very powerful skill. Being able to lead a group and manage these individuals in a way that does not impede their progress and insult their judgement is highly desirable in today’s workplace. With the new generation taking over the work place, and their strong desire to work independently, it is essential to have managers that know how to lead and manage their teams in a way that leaves all government servants room to come up with their own ways of doing things. Exhibiting strong management/leadership skills is therefore a key for bringing transformational results to the organization.
  7. Creativity and Innovation.    It involves the ability to find solutions to problems using    creativity, reasoning and past experience, coupled with information and           resources. Using innovative ways to improve workflows and processes in the work             place, or finding a new way    to process a piece of work can change the organization’s dynamics, save time/cost and             can bring in transformational results.
  8. Computer and Electronic Skills.   Almost all jobs nowadays require some basic understanding of computers and electronics in general. As we move to rely more on technology to help us conduct our daily tasks, be it communicating, writing, calculating, presenting, drawing, creating sound, and many others, we may need in the work place, we are being pushed towards the need to understand circuit boards, processors, electronic equipment and computers. A government servant should be able to make good use of applications like MS Word, Excel, Power Point and Access to produce quality correspondence and presentations.
  9. Specific to Organization Skills. Each organization has its own unique considerations. For example, an organization may require well trained bus drivers.Use of simulators can be resorted to train these drivers to react in different kind of    emergencies and familiarizing them with different kind of terrains. The bus driver   simulator can then replay the entire performance of the government driver trainee for him to analyze his performance. Likewise, use of simulators can help impart quality     training to government servants in an organization.  

Take Away Points

In order to be organizationally aware and enable every subordinate put in their best effort to sync with organizational aim, a government servant will have to focus on the following aspects:-

Building Liaisons/Networks.   A government servant has to be organizationally aware what kind of information and support is required for him to           complete his task in most proficient manner. He should be able to identify the persons/elements both inside and outside the organization, which enable him to achieve goals in a time bound manner. A government servant should be trained on             the methods to forge alliances and partnerships. He should also need to be monitored and be analyzed frequently.

Creating an Inclusive Environment.   Within the area of responsibility, the government servant should be able to create an environment where his colleagues and subordinates can thrive. The inclusive environment will enable each person  to contribute to the organizational aims and bring in transformational results. The government servant should be able to understand the impact of unconscious bias and should recognize emotional intelligence essentials.

Achieving Organizational Goals.   The organizational Goals are accomplished when priorities are set, tracked and all team members are committed to achieve results. Achieving organizational goals will require coordinated efforts of all members of the team. A government servant has to be trained to :-

            (i)         Recognize the importance of the performance plan in achieving results.

            (ii)        Align a personal or team performance plan effectively with the goals of the organization.

            (iii)       Identify methods to track individual or team performance.

            (iv)      Identify, build and promote talent.

Building an Effective Risk Culture.  A government servant at leadership position cannot be risk averse. Risk taking is necessary for an organization to grow and realize its full potential. Managing the risks that can have a negative impact ensures the stability and continued growth of the organization. A government servant should be able to:-

            (i)         Recognize the importance of managing risks effectively.

            (ii)        Collaborate and share information to manage risks.

            (iii)       Use best practices to build a powerful risk culture.

Addressing Poor Performance.    A government servant in leadership position should deftly address chronic performance problems. He should be able to:-

            (i)         Effectively address poor performance in a firm, fair, and consistent             manner.

            (ii)        Minimize the impact of chronic performance problems on     subordinates, productivity, and profitability.

            (iii)       Provide problem performers with a clear understanding of what they          must do to improve and the consequences of failing to do so.

(iv)       Encourage subordinates to take ownership of the work assigned and make them accountable for improving their work performance.

Data Driven Decision Making.      A government servant should collect    and analyze information to accelerate action. He should:-

            (i)         Learn about decision making in transformation-orientated organization cultures. 

            (ii)        Discover methods to effectively collect and analyze information.

            (iii)       Learn how to propose, evaluate, and select alternative courses of action. 

            (iv)       Prepare to confidently decide and accelerate action.

Leadership and Management Skills.    Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is the perfect example of a leader in an Organisation Awareness both on the political and Economical Front. His leadership style has touched millions from Farmers to Entrepreneurs. The most  interesting fact about  him is  he keeps  himself updated as  per the  advancement of generations and that is the reason why the quality of intelligent mass supports his initiative ‘Mann Ki Baat’ and considers it an exceptional example of the transformation in the journey of positive social causes through a static platform. The ‘Mann Ki Baat’ series is inspirational in his way of dealing with people and differs from his combative political identity. The title itself appeals to people and because of which they feel privileged in being chosen by the Prime Minister to listen to what his ‘mind’ feels.

Fostering Innovation and Using Modern Training Aids.  A government servant should be able to think differently. He should be able to clearly convey his ideas to his superior and team members. He should build upon robust innovative ideas that consider many perspectives and add value to the organization.  Different organizations have different training requirements, Use of modern simulators and training aids which can enable a government servant train in various environments, against various threats and in various circumstances positively contribute to organizational building. The government servant can analyse his performance and redo the task on simulator using various approaches to work out the best approach for the organization. Using simulators is a cost effective method to analyse complex environments, solve real world issues and complete tasks using best possible approach. Simulator-based learning can be set up at appropriate times, locations, scenarios, and repeated as often as necessary. Simulation-based learning can adapt to cater to the learners changing abilities.

Conclusion

Organizational Awareness has direct impact on achieving transformational results within the organization. By being aware of all elements in the team and being able to recognize the surrounding patterns, a government servant can be organizationally aware and build upon the required capabilities, He can identify talent and foster innovation. By identifying the external factors affecting the organization, a government servant can take pre-emptive measures, train his team in advance and be ready to adapt to new international/ government policies and technologies. Each element in the organization can be trained and motivated to deliver the   best possible result in sync with goals of the organization.

Resources/References

  1. Dopttrg.nic.in.2021[online] Available at: https://dopttrg.nic.in/igotmk/ImportantDocuments /Part1%20FRAC.pdf   [Accessed 27 October 2021].
  2. Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., Druskat, V., Nevarez, M. and Pitagorsky, G., 2017. Organizational awareness. 3rd ed. Florence, Mass.: Key Step Media/More Than Sound, pp.10 to 35.
  3. Unece.org.2021.[online] Available at: [Accessed 23 October 2021].
  4. Leadership, T., 2021. A Sixth Sense for Reading Your Company. [online] Kornferry.com. Available at: [Accessed 21 October 2021].
  5. Oecd.org. 2021. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 October 2021].
  6. Pandit, Ms. Anuradha, Pandya Ms. Dhvani Pandya and Dhawan Ms. Kanika Dhawan, 2021. Transforming Lives through Virtual Leadership: Analysing Narendra Modi's 'Mann Ki Baat'. [online] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/349312099_Transforming_Lives_ through_Virtual_Leadership_Analysing_Narendra_Modi's_'Mann_Ki_Baat'. Available at: [Accessed 31 October 2021].
  7. Product, M., Leto, K. and Leto, K., 2021. How to get Things Done: Raise Your Organizational Awareness. [online] Mind the Product. Available at: https://www.mindtheproduct.com/how-to-get-things-done-raise-your-organizational-awareness/  [Accessed 23 October 2021].
  8. Search Compliance. 2021. What is Risk Management and Why is it Important?. [online] Available at:                [Accessed 24 October 2021].
  9. Standard, B., 2021. What is Mission Karmayogi?. [online] Business Standard.     [Accessed 20 October 2021].

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