marketing+sales: How Competent is Your Organization?
The rapidly changing world has had a dramatic impact on all businesses—print and promo industry included. But while some companies complain, others are taking advantage of these changes. There is great opportunity for companies to grow and gain market share. When consulting with companies in this sector, I like to ask the following question: What stage of competence is your organization in? The goal of this exercise is to define where an organization is today, in order to best determine where it desires to go in the future. The four stages of development are listed below.
The Unconsciously Incompetent Stage. In this stage, a company simply is not aware of what it knows. Many organizations think they know more than they do and tend to overestimate their overall knowledge, skills and abilities. This can be dangerous.
The Consciously Incompetent Stage. In this stage, an organization understands where it is lacking. Here, an organization realizes it needs to learn, grow and improve, and isn't overconfident.
The Consciously Competent Stage. This is a good place to be, a place where an organization is cognizant of its strengths, and is effective at what it does. An organization in this stage is committed to lifelong learning. The organization is faring well, but it must continue to think and grow in order to reach the highest level.
The Unconsciously Competent Stage. Organizations that have evolved to this stage are so competent that they no longer have to think about things in great detail. Their competence is second nature. This is where all organizations want to be, albeit with the understanding that nobody should ever stop learning.
Here is a good way to remember the four stages and apply them to your organization: Take a moment and reflect on different times in your life when you were driving a car. In your earliest stage, you were unconsciously incompetent. This means you did not realize how little you knew about driving—you were unaware of your lack of knowledge, skills and experience. After driving for a year, however, you became consciously incompetent. You realized, usually after a speeding ticket or fender bender, how much you did not know about driving and how much you needed to improve.