The importance of personal and organisational reflection
8th January, 20140 Comments
Written by: Hazel Rowell-Peverley FCIPD
How many of us take the time and the opportunity to reflect upon our experiences and evaluate them?
Google search definition of reflection: "Serious thought or consideration."
This process is something that as a business and personally, we should consider how we arrived at those decisions that are important to life or business changes. Did we use our past performance effectively in the evaluation process; did other elements inform us of our direction?
There are business and personal tools that are readily available to support the embedding of strategic or personal decisions making, to define the measurement of effectiveness. They have their place in the process of reflection, although this is more about the experience and the recognition, of the experience and the value it holds.
Because this very process can inform or dictate our future, life circumstances either consciously or not. A decision making process that has been preceded by reflection creates opportunities that are value based, on information that is real, and has been a reality as part of our experience. It is therefore, integral to sustaining and creating new market development and in ensuring successful progression. By evaluating the experience around the decisions we made by a full appraisal conducted with personal thought, collaboration and involvement, we demonstrate in very real terms that we are credible, to the individual client, customer and employee.
In our recognition of the journey, we have taken and are willing to learn from all aspects of the business and the effect decisions have in broad terms. Demonstrating an inclusive, learning commitment to excel, grow and continuous improve, with a value based philosophy.
As individual leaders in organisations, it seems that reflection personally and organisationally is consistently challenged against the tide of our now, based culture.
Organisations are forced to communicate the product and services improvements, via the most rapid method, compromising quality for quantity. What and how much can we achieve in the least amount of time with the least amount of resource investment or planning? The longevity stakes are high; the determinants of a lack of reflection, all too often results in us, just wanting to put this lack of foresight as an experience behind us. In our demand based culture, the existence of urgency in commercial decision making is no surprise. However any lack of reflection disregards or diminishes our previous learning or values and undermines our discernment and this has a cost at some level. To our customers, or employees, it could appear that we have compromised integrity, and the ability to demonstrate that we are capable of making and sending an intelligent company message.
Having the competitive edge in the market place is to fully engage in a life-long learning experience. This does not mean we apply ourselves aggressively, or sit on a mat and meditate, but become connected to ourselves and others from base level of integrity, honesty and with a willingness to learn and value the fullness of the engagement on the journey. A process of reflection, either formal or an impromptu learning, has learning values that integrates our overall purpose and our very direction of travel, socially and personally, enabling and informing the decisions that we make, with wisdom. If we are discerning and wise, we will explore and examine our journey so far in the broadest context possible. Adopting a leadership approach that sets aside personal ego, and requests the input of others, will gain great value. This takes courage and has a value base in recognising the importance of people and their contribution, as an investment.
Experience and learning is neglected at cost, as we move into the next task or challenge without reflection. The compelling urge for speed of decision making, often launches our decision process into a time intensive waste of effort.
Clarity and vision can only be achieved when reflection is respected and given full recognition in the organisational planning, delivery, monitoring and review of performance. Creativity is then encouraged to be the ‘Mother of invention.’
To reflect is to question:
What have we learnt, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and physically about our being?
How have we learnt, what are the repeated patterns?
Where / when were we low in productivity?
Why have we learnt / not learnt, are there any repetitive patterns that keep reoccurring in our lives or our business?
When / how can we use this to support greater wisdom and discernment and avoid repetition?
Can we identify our decisions, or our lack of reflection to the context of social or personalised power?
The definition of socialised or personal power:
- High in socialised power motivation.
- Do hard work.
- Help other people.
- Admire the world for what it is.
- Make people laugh and smile.
- Have fun.
- High in personalized power motivation.
- Convince others that I am right.
- Achieve my daily goals.
- Belittle those who correct me.
- Hog the limelight.
- Think positively.
To be authentic, following a path of genuine success, either personally or organisationally, is to recognise the value of reflection. In reconsidering and reflecting our path so far, and the effect on other people communities, customers is to derive an outcome that enables us to make more value based improvements, improvements that encourage greater creativity, contribution, collaboration and authentic learning.
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