The Highlands Company Blog

Your Natural Ability to Organize Thoughts

concept organization natural ability

Today, we bring you another post in our “Natural Abilities in Real Life” series where we examine ALL of the abilities measured on the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB). So far, we’ve covered Personal Style and Classification. Now, let’s look at Concept Organization.

What Is Concept Organization?

concept organization natural abilityConcept Organization is the ability to organize thoughts, your ability to create order, your orientation toward process, decision-making, and communication.

If you fall in the high-end of the HAB continuum for Concept Organization, you likely…

  1. Provide explanations in an easy-to-follow format
  2. Communicate thoroughly in every step of a process
  3. Prefer steps to be followed in a specific order

All three of these traits are hallmarks of high-range Concept Organization.

Careers for High Concept Organization Folks

high concept organization natural abilityWhen strong Concept Organization is your primary problem-solving ability, it can mean arriving at solutions slower than others. If this is you, you may enjoy careers in

  • Science
  • Research
  • Teaching, especially at the university level
  • Writing, especially speech writing
  • Event planning
  • Mergers and acquisitions attorneys
  • Urban planning

People strong on the Concept Organization continuum are often natural communicators and gravitate toward roles where there is a premium on creating a process, working with logistics, communicating, and providing explanations. You’re not going to easily persuade someone with strong Concept Organization to take action or make a decision without providing a solid rationale!

A person high in Concept Organization probably LOVES process flow charts!


The Other Side of the Coin – Low Concept Organization

concept organization abilityIf you score low on the Concept Organization continuum, you are likely very decisive. When working through a problem, you probably don’t need to go through every step and weigh the pros and cons to know how you feel or what you think about something.

You like it or you don’t!

If you work with someone low on the Concept Organization continuum, try cutting to the chase without providing the rationale. This will create momentum to work on the task at hand rather than the contemplating how it got to this point.

People with limited Concept Organization can be seen scratching their heads at the seemingly unnecessary need for strong Concept Organization folks to explain the history of an event or decision before they ever share the action or decision.

Where Do You Fall on the Concept Organization Continuum?

Imagine this: A financial company is developing a lending product that is expected to generate a huge volume of loan applications. The completion time for processing applications is imperative to the success of a loan. It is expected that the company’s new application process will generate quite a bit of new business over the next three to five years.

If you were a part of this financial company, would you rather…

1 – Create the application for other company employees to use?


2 – Work with customers to complete the application?

If you prefer number one, then you are likely high in Concept Organization and enjoy creating processes. If you prefer number two, then you are likely low in Concept Organization and prefer to simply get the job done and not worry about what it took to get there.

Here’s another example….

A seasoned trainer creates a one-day workshop based on content in which she is an “expert.” The workshop is customized for an industry group with which she is familiar. Her program is solid, the materials are professional and up to date, the timing is blocked out perfectly, and the flow of experiential and reflective activities build upon each other as the day progresses. She will co-facilitate the program with a content expert who reviews the materials and says, “Well, this looks good on paper but it’s not going to work unless you spend the first 30 minutes feeding the group and allowing them to interact.”

As you might expect, in this scenario the trainer is high in Concept Organization and the content expert is low. They need each other!

Of course, the influence of Concept Organization and Classification, the first two Driving Abilities (the abilities that motivate you), are even better considered in combination with one another. Stay tuned for our next post when we’ll address these interesting combinations!