Appendices - Needs Assessment
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Note: If you would like to review my needs assessment project before reading my reflection, please go to the bottom of the page.
When I began work at FPC in April of 2001, I was joining the team of a new Chief Operating Officer (COO) charged with transforming the way the organization interfaced with the market. We were in sync from the first day I started. My first task for this COO was to assess what was happening within the organization and with the clients. Based on this mission, I immediately set out to understand the complicated dynamics of what was happening and how our team was performing set against this new vision.
The assessment course could not have come at a better time. In fact, it seems that courses appear just as I need them in my work. In some respects, this assessment task was self-affirming in that it validated what I had sensed needed to be done. The more research, interviews, and field work I did, the more confirming of my envisioned direction. I, to this day, am concerned about objectivity in assessment and whether it can truly be achieved. I was quite aware of my biases as I implemented my work; and at the same time, I was quite aware that I was hired to take the organization in the exact direction that I envisioned. My assessment work confirmed not only my initial observations but also was in direct alignment with what the COO had envisioned, as well. A self-fulfilling prophecy? I am not so sure. I believe that any professional with a similar framework in my position would have come to similar conclusions.
In my role as Sr. VP of Marketing and Sales, I brought 25 years of extensive study of the field with me. My training was in a specific consultative approach to clients both inside and outside the organization. With my foundation of training, I believe it would have been difficult to design and implement solutions contrary to my values and training. It is my belief that matching who you are with the needs of the target organization is critical. A misalignment can spell disaster. And in fact, disaster struck. What I could not have anticipated was the misalignment of the COO with the owner who, as I found out later, embarked on change efforts and abandoned them. Teams were fired and the organization purged of the new work. My COO was indeed fired, and I was left holding the change banner. I lasted only a few months longer before I, too, was let go with the rest of my new team along with me.
I hope the FPC position will be the last Sales and Marketing Executive position that I hold. The assessment that I produced was outstanding work for me in that role, and I will use it as a model of what to do and what not to do as I embark on my new journey as an leader in organizational development and training. I also understand that I cannot abandon who I am or what I value to fit into an organization. I also understand that I need to work to survive. The sales and marketing management phase in my life and my career is over and one I do not want to duplicate. It has also reaffirmed for me the importance of alignment of my value and philosophy with the needs of the organization within which I execute my work. The FPC assessment project set at the vortex of my life-changing experience and will forever remain a lesson for me.
The major disappointment for me was the lost opportunity to implement the direction this needs assessment provided for me. The POG, COG, and Learning Activity Plan were all designed based on this work and I will forever regret not being able to fully implement this important work. Through conversations with a survivor at the organization, I am heartened to learn that those sales people that followed my coaching and direction have moved to the top of the sales team and those who were at the top and refused to learn, have descended to the bottom.
|Copyright © John Inman January 1, 2003