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External Awareness

Definition: Identifies and keeps up-to-date on key national and international policies and economic, political, and social trends that affect the organization.  Understands near-term and long-rang plans and determines how to best be positioned to achieve a competitive business advantage in a global economy.

Ideas for Developing this Competency: 

  • Read agency publications to keep abreast of more global influences and issues that will affect your organization.
  • Read publications; listen to radio and television programs that have good coverage of international political, geographic, economic and cultural trends. (e.g., NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Smithsonian, C-Span, CNN, BBC, NPR).
  • Review information on the Department of State web page ( and other agencies, organizations and associations with an international focus.
  • Shadow someone in another government agency or in the academic or private sector.
  • Travel to places you have not been before (read about the people and customs).
  • Join an organization that will expose you to more global issues.
  • Correspond with someone in another country.
  • Organize a round-table discussion on current issues facing public managers.
  • Attend seminars and lectures inside and outside of your organization to familiarize yourself with trends that may affect the future work of your organizational.
  • Watch television programs or videos that address international issues.
  • Establish networks with people outside BLM to broaden your focus.
  • Build strong external networks with people in your profession.


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