Aligning Personal Development with Organizational Development-Hug and Nudge

Hug and Nudge-Two Answers to One Question

(Vol IV)

Sometimes a warm hug is the answer to our question 
and sometimes a gentle nudge is the answer.

'Hug and Nudge' is a fortnightly column with two different perspectives from two different continents and cultures on the same question in personal development area viz. 
Jennifer Sertl (based in New York, USA) and
Dr Amit Nagpal (based in New Delhi, India).

Question-How do we align personal development with organizational development?
A great question asked by Syed Mohd Qasim,

Jennifer Sertl's Answer

I think everyone was born with a question to chew on in a lifetime that keeps you up at night and the quest for which gives you meaning. This is my question and why I wrote Strategy, Leadership and the Soul with my friend and colleague Koby Huberman (sample chapter

Your competitive advantage is the accuracy in which you scan the macro environment and how you choose to articulate your life experience.  Your ability to add value in an organization is to make wise decisions at the micro level (execution) that contribute to the company brand and promise to the customers at the macro level (strategy).  Vitality in your own well being will contribute to vitality in your decision-making capability and ultimately vitality in the business. It seems self evident to me; however, as I read article after article regarding #CSR and leadership best practices there is still some significant bridging that needs to be done.

Because so many things we talk about are conceptual - I want to use some images that I hope support both clarity and momentum.

Here is a robust vitality model for personal development:

 Each of these hubs contribute to your sensory system’s ability to stand tall, see clearly, receive feedback, and have energy to focus. You can take each of them to deeper levels of specificity and intensity; however for our purpose, I’d like to be as concise as possible.

Spirituality:    knowing that your life makes a difference to others

Health:            eating balanced, exercising, getting sleep, and proper testing

Relationships:  ensuring you have a confidant, friends and intimacy

Emotional Well Being: honoring your talent without pride; inadequacy without shame

Finances:         mindful spending, saving, giving

Intellect:  strengthening skill for today, skill for tomorrow, and collaboration capability

Each of these attributes contributes to your sensory system’s ability to stand tall, see clearly, receive feedback, and foster self esteem.

I would like you to put in your Smartphone or some calendar app to review this dashboard at least once per quarter and make a choice on where addition time/energy can enhance better balance.

An individual that honors their mind, body, spirit is going to add more value in any organization. As I move toward clarifying business model alignment, I’d like to take a moment to honor Arie DeGeus who wrote The Living Company Excuse my rant, however, I don’t think we’d be in the state of fiscal failure if Arie’s work was included in MBA programs.

Living company. Did you get that. Your organization is not a static fixed entity. It is alive, vibrant, dynamic and exchanging information. You in a sense are a capillary system within your organization sharing what you are learning to the inside and getting feedback from the outside - it is morphic, dying, rebuilding, expanding moment to moment day by day.

Here is a fairly standard business model:

Each of these hubs contribute to your organizations ability to create value, articulate that value and adapt based on customer feedback. Again, you can take each of them to deeper levels of specificity and intensity; however for our purpose, I’d like to be as concise as possible.

Brand:  the experience others have of your company

KPIs:    key performance indicators - internal measures

Stakeholders:  employees, customers, vendors, community

Core competency: borrowing from Good to Great, Jim Collin’s hedge-hog

Finances:  mindful investments, corporate social responsibility, capital & R & D

Collective intelligence:               recruiting & retaining key talent

On some level, you might experience this as gross over-simplification. It is simple yet it is not easy.

Here is where we see the alignment:

Your design to live a life full of vitality is no different that a company wanting a balanced score-card.

I am convinced that organization with the clearest understanding of reality and with the highest consciousness will be the winners because they will be able to see signs that are invisible to others.

The more your honor your own life and vitality at the micro level will allow you to create more value and make wiser decisions wherever you choose to work.

I repeat: your competitive advantage is the accuracy with which you scan the macro and articulate your life experience. Take better care of your own system #reboot #recalibrate #refresh.


Brief Profile
Beacon of hope. Purveyor of discipline.
Global Citizen. Transleader.
Coach. Facilitator.
Co-Author- Strategy, Leadership & the Soul and Founder of Agility3R.

Watch on Youtube
Find out more about Jennifer's works here:-


Dr Amit Nagpal's Answer

What is an organization after all? Is it not a group of people with common objectives? In fcat in today’s world where many employees hold stocks, the employees are not  and hence an organizational strengths and reputation is the sum total of the skillset and reputation of its people. If an organisation helps its employees bring out and express their peak potential, the organisation also realizes its peak potential in the process. Both personal development and organizational development can happen together and can be aligned.

Here is my understanding of how personal development can be aligned with organizational development.

Congenial work culture-A work culture which creates belongingness will encourage employee for personal development and genuinely contribute to organisation development. Support systems like educational leave, company sponsored MDPs/Executive MBA and so are also useful in creating employee commitment, which helps in both personal and organizational development.

Encouraging a culture of Thought Leadership
Innovation has become a key to success in most of the globally competitive industries and markets. Innovation will thrive in a culture where thought leadership among employees is encouraged. Indian IT industry for example is so dynamic that thought leadership among employees is highly treasured because they only build and lead teams that make innovative products.

Aligning employee passions
Very often large organisations have square pegs in round holes and misfit people are bound to underperform, hop jobs often and become a liability for the organisation. Our passions change and evolve too and the employees need to be placed in a function and department where the skills are best utilized. This may have practical difficulties but an honest effort in this direction will benefit both employees and the organisation.

Training-Organisations conduct training for personal development of employees so that they can contribute in a better way to the organizational objectives.

Exposure-Another useful tool for employee development and motivation is exposure to new cultures, new practices, other cities/countries, functions and so on.

Aligning personal reputation (brand) with organizationalreputation (brand)
Here are few tips on how to align personal brand with the corporate brand and contribute to organizational success:-
  • The personal brand of the employee can help the organisation get more business or vendor proposals for example. The higher the management level, the more critical personal branding becomes. The higher the reputation of the employee, the more critical an asset he/she is to the organisation.
  • Employees must align their personal brands with corporate brands and give the organisation/employer the due respect it deserves. For eg putting the company website before the personal website on Linkedin profile.
  • The employee can highlight how the values of the company are aligned with his/her personal values and how the organisation has contributed to his/her job satisfaction by helping align personal goals with organisation goals.
Sunder Madakshira, Vice President – Marketing and Communications, SAP Labs believes, “In a knowledge economy, the true worth of a corporation is the synergy of expertise of the talent pool it owns. An organizational brand is, therefore, built brick by brick through contributions by prominent employees who are strong brand themselves.

If employees build their skills (and knowledge / attitudes) with such wisdom, and dedication to the organisation, the organisation will be automatically built as a side effect. If the organisation is a house, then each employee is a brick.

After all, a house is only as strong as its bricks are.
Brief Profile
Dr Amit Nagpal is a Personal Branding Consultant & Deepest Passion Coach. He is based in New Delhi, India and specializes in personal branding with a holistic touch. His philosophy is, "Enlarge as a Human Being, Excel as a Social Media Being and Evolve as a Personal Brand"

To know more visit
Related Posts
Hug and Nudge (Vol 1)
Hug and Nudge (Vol II)


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