Building an Organization on Strengths

The process of creating a strengths-based organization means answering two critical questions:

  • What kinds of individuals belong in our organization?
  • How can we best use the strengths of each individual?

Conversely, for an individual considering a job in an organization, the questions are:

  • Do I belong in this organization?
  • How can I best use my strengths within this organization?

The first question addresses the organizational culture and the individuals most likely to thrive within it. The second is about facilitating the process of matching those individuals to the right teams and roles, allowing them to find their true “homes” within the organization. I devote the remainder of this chapter to focusing on these two goals.

Organizational Culture: Who Belongs Here?

The economic crisis of 2008 hit everyone hard, particularly finance companies. The Focus Consulting Group was curious to learn what distinguished the companies that survived the hard times, those that thrived during them, and those forced to close their doors. To answer that question, the firm conducted an assessment of 65 different asset management companies that fell into one of these three categories. The assessment covered culture, leadership, and other factors related to success. The results showed notable distinctions in the organizational culture between these three groups of companies; but what stood out to me was the response to the question: “Do we have the right team ...

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