The following post is part of the course work for “Live Exchange” the foundational course on communication for The MBA Design Strategy Program at California College of the Arts. The rest of the posts are presented here.
By Austina W. Kang
Do you struggle to find your role keeping the world green? For those who want to participate in saving world I recommend taking the time to think about your individual strengths to save their world.
Recently, I realized it is important to identify our individual strengths. In our course “Live Exchange: Authentic, Effective, Generative Communication” in DMBA program at CCA our Professor Linda Yaven had us take a Strengths Finder test created by Tim Rath. Our professor is an experienced Leadership Coach and designed a way for us to look at our strengths through the lense of their being managed or unmanaged.
My top 5 strengths are “Activator/ Strategic/ Communication/ Individualization/ Arranger.” Utilizing my strengths makes me a more productive group member. Moreover, it gives me the tools to reach my potential in the field that I am strongest in and the ability to understand how I can improve my weaknesses. Additionally knowing an individual’s strengths makes the working environment smoother. In the collaborative process you can pick/assign tasks and encourage your co-workers to manage their strengths.
What if we create an Eco-Strengths Finder similar to Tim Rath’s Strengths Finder? The Eco-Strengths Finding test will ask questions regarding the everyday routine life, cultural background and personal characteristics. The test will provide some potential Eco-Strengths.
Virtual questions in Eco- Strength Finder:
1. Do you eat canned food a lot?
2. Do you use Social Network Services? (such as Facebook, Twitter)
3. Do you drink coffee often?
4. Are you a group activity person?
5. Do you have a pet?
6. Do you consider yourself creative?
7. Are you comfortable speaking in public?
8. Do you have large family?
9. Do you cook often?
10. Do you work out?
There is a celebrity named Hyo-Jin Kong in Korea. She is an actress who recently published a book called “Kong Book”. This is a perfect example to show how someone can use his or her Eco-Strength effectively.
1. Hyo-Jin likes to write.
2. She is not political or academic – she is casual.
3. She has the power to spread her message widely, quickly.
If she took an Eco-Strengths Finding test, her Eco Strengths would utilize those characteristics. She can share her green habits with SNS?< what is this? explain it. Her Eco-Strength can be “Propagate”.
Her book actually shows her daily green habits. One habit she prioritizes is bringing a to-go mug instead of getting a paper cup every time she gets coffee. It wouldn’t work for people who don’t have a daily routine of getting coffee, but it is a perfect goal for her or similar anyone with a 9-5 job. Although, I go to Starbucks or Blue Bottle daily for a latte, I am clumsy and lose things pretty easily. This would not be the most suitable goal for me. What can my Eco-strength be then? I grew up in Korea, where the city has a very strict policy for recycling. I don’t feel comfortable throwing away clean paper with other disposable garbage and in addition to that, I’m a very organized person. Considering my personality and cultural background, my suitable Eco-strength might be to “Recycle”.
The Eco- Strengths Finder would be used not only by individuals, but also companies to craft or identify their Eco-Missions. Let’s say clothing companies such as Gap took this test. Their eco mission might be “Opening an annual bazzar for used clothes” or “Growing organic cotton”. Sports related companies such as Nike might be have an annual campaign encouraging consumers to walk more than drive for their own and the earth’s health.
Again, my purpose of proposing this Eco- Strengths Finding system is to aid individuals and companies understand what they can do to have positive impact on the world. I would like to work with Tim Rath to publish an Eco-Strengths Finder. It would be awesome. However, in the immediate, take a moment to think about what your Eco-Strengths or Eco-Mission might be. Don’t set the bar too high or you will be discouraged. Think small. Consider your routine life, your existing habits and set the good, the bad, and the ugly. Did you take a moment to think about your Eco-mission? Make that be a part of your 2012 Resolution. ;)