As I mentioned in the last issue, the five driving abilities are very powerful. These abilities directly impact job performance and satisfaction. If any one of these abilities is high, it requires itself to find an outlet. Most jobs only call on one or two so people that test high in many of these abilities need to find outlets for them in other areas of their life.

Concept organization is what the Highlands Company defines as: “the kind of problem solving in which a person starts with known facts, uses logical connections between them, and arrives at a logical conclusion.”

Concept organization is linear, left-brain problem solving. It is the basis for planning, strategizing for the future, and communicating thoughts in ways others can understand. Let’s look at the characteristics and challenges of people that test high and low in Classification.

People high in concept organization find it natural to organize and plan things. They easily create structures, systems, and schedules for themselves and others. Because people usually understand information much better if presented to them logically, people high in concept organization are often terrific communicators. Their organizational ability is internal so they really do know where things are, even if their desks are a mess!

People high in concept organization feel a need to go thought every single step in the decision process. They even feel compulsion to finish all the steps in a project without analyzing whether the steps are important or not. Their step-by-step adherence to detail can get in the way of their making decisions.

People low in concept organization can act quickly and decisively. They have no need to work through all the steps of a solution and they can get impatient with those that do. This ability to cut through layers of logic to get to an answer is a valuable skill for executives and managers.

People low in concept organization can be overwhelmed by multiple competing demands. They can also have a challenge organizing and prioritizing. People low in concept organization will usually need to rely on external organization tools like calendars, planners, lists, and files. They may also have a hard time communicating clearly with people. Since this doesn’t come easily for them, they’ll just need to allow more time to prepare for presentations and talks.

There are a number of ways concept organization can affect our fundraising. Here are a few:

  • People lower in concept organization (CO) may want to team up with a person higher in CO when planning a solicitation or strategizing a campaign.
  • Someone higher in CO that finds themselves bogged down making a decision may want to seek out the help of someone lower in CO to cut through to an answer.
  • When you’re with a donor that needs to tediously move through each and every step of a solicitation process, ask yourself, “Is this person simply stalling or are they high in CO?”

Which do you think you are: high concept organization or low? Remember, there isn’t a good and bad in this range. Isn’t it interesting that executives and managers are better if they’re low in classification and concept organization?

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