Topic 2: Organisational Awareness and Industry Knowledge

How much do you know about the company you work for? When you start a new role, it’s important to dedicate time to build your awareness about your team, how your team contributes to achieving organisational goals, and where your organisation sits in its broader economic and social context. This awareness is pivotal to career success. A person with organisational awareness:

  • Is curious and finds out what is happening across all parts of the organisation
  • Makes time to understand the organisational culture and dynamics
  • Keeps up to date with all business activity – not just what’s happening in their team
  • Understands where the key decision points are and where the key points of influence are
  • Demonstrates empathy and understanding of the pressures other people are under and their concerns
  • Understands the sectoral and social context and issues that impact the organisation’s operations
  • Looks at the business's broader place in society

In this topic, we’ll give you some useful links and tips to help you increase your organisational awareness and keep up to date with what's happening in your industry. Remember: in today's world - change is a constant. Once you have increased your organisational awareness you need to maintain it.

How much do you know about the company you work for? When you start a new role, it’s important to dedicate time to build your awareness about your team, how your team contributes to achieving organisational goals, and where your organisation sits in its broader economic and social context. This awareness is pivotal to career success. A person with organisational awareness:

  • Is curious and finds out what is happening across all parts of the organisation
  • Makes time to understand the organisational culture and dynamics
  • Keeps up to date with all business activity – not just what’s happening in their team
  • Understands where the key decision points are and where the key points of influence are
  • Demonstrates empathy and understanding of the pressures other people are under and their concerns
  • Understands the sectoral and social context and issues that impact the organisation’s operations
  • Looks at the business's broader place in society

In this topic, we’ll give you some useful links and tips to help you increase your organisational awareness and keep up to date with what's happening in your industry. Remember: in today's world - change is a constant. Once you have increased your organisational awareness you need to maintain it.

  • Quick note

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    This unit involves a fair bit of reading. We understand that reading may not be your favourite way to learn – but let us assure you, the other units will be much more interactive.

    Why so much reading? In the first couple of weeks of your placement – you may find that you have spare time on your hands. It can take a couple of weeks to set up your IT login and you may not be given a steady supply of work until week 3 or 4. This is normal. We’ve given you this unit to help you fill that time in a productive way. Use this down-time to increase your organisational knowledge so that when you’re given your first project you can hit the ground running.

    Some tips for making the most out of your reading:

    • Be curious - if something takes your interest, read further, explore additional links, watch videos, google search key words and projects.
    • Read actively – make notes. If there is something you don’t understand, write it down and discuss it with your placement manager or someone in your team. Take note of the link/document/page number so you can come back if you need to.
    • Break it down – a forty page document can be daunting! Set yourself smaller, more achievable goals. For example, read 10 pages per day.
  • Increase Your Awareness of the NSW Public Sector

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    Transport is one of 10 clusters that form the NSW Public Sector. All ten clusters work together to achieve the priorities set out by the NSW government.

    The NSW government is led by the Premier of NSW who has identified 12 personal priorities and 18 state priorities to grow the economy, deliver infrastructure, protect the vulnerable, and improve health, education and public services across NSW. These priorities set the agenda for the NSW Government Sector.

    Read about the state’s goals and priorities here.

  • Increase your awareness of the Transport cluster

    Transport is headed up by three Ministers who are responsible for ensuring Transport agencies meet their goals and purposes within their allocated budgets. Read more about the Ministers’ roles and responsibilities here.

    The day-to-day leadership of the Transport cluster is the responsibility of our leadership team. They are accountable for implementing the Future Transport Strategy, which is the vision for the next 40 years of transport in NSW.

    It's important that you read the Future Transport Strategy so that you understand where we are going as a cluster and how your work is contributing to those goals. You should also familiarise yourself with the supporting plans and other information available on the Future Transport website.

  • Increase your awareness of each agency

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    The Transport cluster is made up of an extended network of government agencies and private organisations which work together to deliver transport services. A high level organisational structure is below:

    On the graduate program, you will complete four placements across a range of Transport agencies which may include:

    • Transport for NSW
    • Roads and Maritime Services
    • Sydney Trains
    • NSW Trains
    • State Transit Authority
    • Sydney Metro

    The intent of the graduate program is to build future leaders with cross-cluster knowledge. This means that you should build your knowledge about all Transport agencies, not just the agency where you are currently placed. To improve your knowledge of each agency:

    • Read the most recent edition of each agency’s Annual report. The 2018 copies are saved under ‘Important documents’ in this topic. Other versions can be found on the 'Strategy Documents' page on the TfNSW intranet. The annual report will give you a high level overview of what the agency has achieved in the last financial year.
    • Spend approximately 1 hour per week reading the various agencies' intranet pages. Set up a recurring appointment in your diary and dedicate this time to increasing your organisational knowledge. This could be an hour on a Friday afternoon, or you could set up multiple, shorter time slots throughout the week. Familiarise yourself with the organisational structure of each agency. This will help you contextualise the new things you learn about Transport throughout your placements.
    • Follow each agency on your social media to keep up to date with their media releases. Transport agencies have a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
  • Increase your awareness of your placement team

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    Throughout your six month placement, you will build an understanding of your placement team’s goals, roles and responsibilities. Be proactive in building this understanding:

    • Identify where your team sits in the organisational structure. Find out the name of your division/directorate, your branch, and your business area.
    • Set up a meeting with your placement manager and ask them to show you the business plan for your team and explain how it relates to the broader organisational goals.
    • Set up a meeting with each team member to find out what they do. Prepare a list of questions to make the most out of the meeting. Ask about their current priorities, key stakeholders, challenges and how they overcome them.

    Albert Einstein said “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough.” By the end of your placement, you should be able to explain in simple terms what your team does and how it contributes to Agency goals and the Premier’s priorities.

  • Increase your industry knowledge

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    Increasing and maintaining your industry knowledge gives you a competitive advantage and makes you a valuable asset to your team. Check out this article for useful tips on increasing your industry knowledge.

    A mentor can provide guidance in how to keep up to date in your industry. You will probably develop informal mentoring relationships with more experienced members of your placement team. As part of the Graduate Program, you also have access to Talent Connect, an online platform where you can identify potential mentors from across the Transport cluster. Check it out and connect with someone today!

Page last updated: 25 January 2019, 11:21