The challenge with the Andy Dufresne and PatientsLikeMe analogies is that each of those people experienced a sudden life-changing event that caused them to analyze their Place. The “regular Joe” doesn’t — removing the impetus.
I would argue that each of us does experience life-changing events, sometimes daily. We merely experience them in smaller measures. This is why Dr. Beverly Kaye prompts us to continually analyze our Place — to keep abreast on these smaller events before they accumulate into one larger life-changing event, one that you are not prepared for, one for which analysis is done in hindsight.
- What’s going on around you?
- What is the current environment in your organization?
We’re likely keeping a weather eye out for reorganizations and layoffs. Bear in mind that, even in “this economy,” other business decisions are made, other stuff happens.
- What current events are impacting your profession? Your industry?
Consider that while your job might be on thing — say, accountant, or trainer — it is still interrelated with the industry in which that job is located. Keeping on top of your industry can be key to maintaining one’s organizational savvy.
A personal example:
I recently completed facilitating a series of webinars for over 500 employees at my work. In this seminar, I shared information I had gleaned from two news articles about how social media had impacted the industry — specifically, how employees of other organizations are allowed to relate with its “Digital Natives.” I also shared one personal observation about how I have been relating to a “Digital Native” in my family.
Each of these observations added to my credibility with an audience that had not heard of me before (I’m fairly new to the company), thereby enhancing the impact of my message. None of this was information that I had sought out. It was stuff that had come to me as I kept my awareness open to my Place.