What is organizational awareness?

Every company has two organizational structures: the formal one is written on the charts; the other is the everyday relationship of the men and women in the organization. -HAROLD S. GREEN

Organizational awareness is the understanding of your organization from top to bottom and from inside to out. It enables you to understand how you and your role relate to the larger organization and industry in which you work. It also includes the way in which your organization relates to the global economy. Understanding your organization will help you navigate your career.

Organizational awareness includes the culture, politics, and the written and unwritten rules that shape your day-to-day work and your long-term professional aspirations. Knowing your organization includes knowing the players—your colleagues. You also should understand the external forces that impact your organization and everyone in it—competitors, industry trends, government policies, economics, and other global dynamics.

It is important to note that the term “organizational awareness” has a variety of meanings depending on the context. In Career-ology, the focus is on your awareness and understanding of your role in relation to your team, organization, industry/sector, the larger economy/marketplace/country, and the world.

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