Magazine article Work & Family Life

Portable Skills for a Fast-Changing Workplace

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Portable Skills for a Fast-Changing Workplace

Article excerpt

Most of us adapt to the circumstances of our workplace sooner or later. We get a handle on the company culture and learn what makes our boss tick. Though it may take awhile, at some point we manage to locate allies, defuse our detractors, become more effective and enhance our value as employees.

Trouble is, for many of us, once we have it all figured out, our work environment changes.

A new book, Organization Smarts by David W. Brown, promises to shorten the learning curve. The author, who has worked in corporate, political and academic settings, has analyzed what it takes to think on the fly, land on our feet and make ourselves immediately useful in a new workplace situation.

These are "portable" skills, he says, that will work in all types of organizations, industries and work sectors.

The book is reader-friendly with eye-opening "minicases" and challenging exercises to test our organizational smarts. The author offers hints on learning the valuable information no one volunteers, understanding the people around us, getting to know "the gatekeepers" and developing a reputation as someone whose actions are consistent with our words. …

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