Monday, February 8, 2016

Three Questions to Assess a Person’s Advancement

The advancement of a person starts from inside-out: the open and forward-looking mind flow.

People are always the most invaluable asset in businesses. “Hiring the right person for the right position at the right time,” is the mantra of many forward-thinking organizations. The advancement of an organization depends on how advanced its people are. But how can you assess people’s advancement? Is it only based on the advanced degree they got, an advanced title they hold? Or is it because they can play the latest gadgets or wear the fashionable outfits? What are the right questions to lead thought-provoking understanding about the advancement of an individual, or an overall society?

Are you a forward-thinking, upwards, and open-minded?  The advancement starts with mindset. We are what we think. Today we are inextricably linked, in real time and in ways far more imminent than most realize. It is really difficult to become aware of things you are not aware of. Usually forward-thinking people do not restrict themselves to the conventional wisdom, they have foresight with a proactive and predictive understanding of cause and effect, not reactive seeing. It is a clear choice among future scenarios that advocates future trends. To predict is to control; to co-create is to influence what you would like to bring into being. Scenarios of possible futures create stories, this is where you want to be. The advanced thinkers are often more open-minded to new concepts and ideas. They are able to and not afraid to leverage contrarian views to shape a holistic picture. It means they feel passionate about what is going to happen, the opportunities, and proactively embrace it, they have little resistance to change, often with an agile mentality to learning, growing, changing, and maturing. The advanced mindset is the force to drive the world moving forward.

Do you have advanced knowledge and how fast can you climb the knowledge-insight-wisdom pyramid? Due to the accelerated digital speed and continuous disruptions, today’s digital workforces have to learn, de-learn and re-learn all the time. The advanced knowledge is not just about how many latest buzzwords you can capture or how fluent you can play the recent digital gadgets, it’s more about how fast you could climb the knowledge-insight-wisdom pyramid. The ultimate aim of knowledge is wisdom. The higher you climb the intellectual hierarchy, the more advanced you would be. We become wise when we are humble enough to be aware of and admit what we don't know and share what we know. Learning agility is the willingness and ability to learn, de-learn and relearn, and then apply those lessons to succeed in new situations. People who are learning agile continuously seek new challenges, solicit direct feedback, self-reflect, and get jobs done resourcefully.

Do you have advanced capabilities and unique competency? The business and world become more overly complex and ambiguous. Therefore, the linear skills are often not sufficient to adapt to the non-linear digital dynamic. The advanced capabilities are integral, synthesizing, and recombinant. The integrity and suitability of the competency are tested through traits such as critical thinking, creative thinking, attitude, passion, entrepreneurship, leadership, maturity, and wisdom. etc. The advanced capabilities also include problem-solving ability that the talented people who have well-blended hard and soft skills  and master on solving complex business problems, or know how to simplify and optimize solutions; as well as innovation capability - people who can think and communicate creatively and find alternative solutions to old problems or a new way to delight customers. A digital knowledge worker is someone for whom knowledge is the main input for work, as opposed to another worker who obviously uses his/her brain, but depends more on expertise in using a particular tool or set of tools. It is the ability to transform which exists to which is new, that differentiates the digital knowledge worker from industrial knowledge workers. After all, we all find new ways to make our work "easier," more rewarding, reach the advancement for ourselves, for our customers and for our society.

Therefore, the advancement of a person starts from inside-out: the open and forward-looking mind is the very driver to learn, grow and change; the advanced knowledge and profound insight are important elements in building advanced capabilities. Knowledge workforces change each day, they grow, learn, develop. Even business as a whole does. This is organic change, it is unconscious. The collective advancement of people decides how far the organization can move forward and how fast the society can make the progress.


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