Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How Much Do We Think About “Core Ideology” When We Choose Our School or Job?

The article “Building Your Company’s Vision” argues that creating a durable vision, consisting of the core ideology and envisioned future, is the pivotal first step in building a visionary organization. Using a number of different companies as examples, this article explains why it’s important for an organization to articulate its vision to achieve a long-term success. What especially stood out to me from the article was the statement that a core ideology needs to be “meaningful and inspirational” to those within the organization as they will be the ones committed and invested to the organization in the long run. In addition, it is argued that a core ideology cannot be imposed on people and that it is instead something people are predisposed to.

Whether we are attending school or working for a company, we will be putting in a significant amount of effort and dedication to the organization that we belong to. Because of this big investment, it would be ideal for us to belong to an organization with a “deeper sense of purpose” that inspires us to study or work. This idea motivated me to ask the following question: how much do we actually think about the core ideology of an organization we choose to join? Is it something that we often neglect as school/job applicants?

Having recently been a job applicant myself, I saw myself filtering companies I want to apply for simply by salary and name value of the company. Core values or purpose of a company was never brought up in conversation during the interview process, and I was only exposed to specific, short-term goals of a company. Even when I was choosing among offers, it never crossed my mind to think about my compatibility with the companies’ core ideologies. Although a company’s core ideology may be one of the key factors what will drive us to go to work and enjoy being a part of the organization, I think we often do not take it into consideration.

Such negligence can have significant, negative impacts on us personally as well as on the organizations. As an example, I attended a Christian high school with religious core values and the purpose of nurturing “truth-seeking leaders”. This core ideology of the school transcended a number of changes the school went through, including new headmasters and school relocation. When my school was competing with other schools to hire excellent teachers, it did not pursue applicants who did not align perfectly in terms of the school’s core ideology, even if this meant a competitive disadvantage. Thus, the organization did its part in holding onto its core ideology, but some students failed to evaluate their compatibility with the organization. Many students applied to the school for the great education and location, but those who did not share the religious background and thus the core values of the school often suffered in terms of performance and satisfaction, as the rules, curriculum, etc. revolved around the school’s ideology. Such struggle of an individual may have also negatively affected the organization as a whole in terms of culture and school-wide performance.

As incompatibility in the core ideology may decrease the organization’s performance and more importantly the individual’s performance and happiness, shouldn’t we at least give a brief thought on the core ideology of the organization we consider joining?

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