Have you ever imagined a company or organization where people are working everyday in the areas of their strength? In reading Now Discover your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton Ph.D., they talk about the strengths revolution in organizations. “The great organization must not only accommodate the fact that each employee is different, it must capitalize on these differences.” They discuss looking at your employees and their natural talents and putting them in roles that fit those talents. This information is from studies done from Gallup Organization through analysis of 198,000 employees.
The authors start out by stating that most organizations are built around two major flawed assumptions:
1. Each person can learn to be competent in almost anything.
2. Each person’s greatest room for improvement is in the areas of greatest weakness.
They go on to state how organizations following these two assumptions spend money training people, when they should spend more time selecting people for the proper roles. We identify an employee’s “area of opportunity” and try to train them around this. Using their revolutionary ideas in a strength-based organization they manage strengths. When we understand the employee strengths we can help them develop and put them in the proper places to shine.
If we are going to talk about strengths we should probably define what is a strength is. ” The definition of a strength that we will use throughout this book is quite specific: consistent near perfect performance in an activity.” They use Tiger Woods as an example, Tiger’s gift on the golf course is definitely a strength. In trying to play golf off and on for thirty years I can attest to that.
There are three parts that combine to make your strengths.
Talents are your naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling or behavior.
Knowledge consists of the facts and lessons learned.
Skills are the steps of an activity.
Taking all this in account they begin to cover how we can build upon the strengths you have. Then we look over the thirty four themes of Strengths. From their we put the Strengths to work in our organization. They discuss how certain themes may help people in sales, education and leadership. Also they are careful to point out that people with differing themes may be good something for different reasons.