Why Do Organizations Do What They Do? Why Do Some Succeed Where Others Fail?
Senior Partner of Diversified Retail Solutions, LLC and Graduate Business Adjunct Instructor Maxie Carpenter asks the following two questions regarding what organizations do to succeed:
Why Do Organizations Do What They Do? Why Do Some Organizations Succeed Where Others Fail?
These two questions are not mutually exclusive, meaning that the answer to one is also the answer to the other. There are two primary reasons that organizations perform in a certain manner, respond in a certain way, or “do what they do” regardless of situation.
- There is an old saying in Human Resources that “function follows form.” In other words, the way something functions is because that is the way it was formed. This applies to almost anything or anyone. An automobile, regardless of make or model, is put together in a certain way so that it will function in a certain way. A person, based upon life experiences, is formed in a certain way, and as a result, functions in most environments in a certain way. An organization is no less influenced; the way it is put together, structured, or “formed”, dictates how it will “function”, communicate, or “do what it does” in just about any situation.
- The “culture” of how an organization was formed also influences how it does what it does. In other words, there is an underlying philosophy or approach to life in general that permeates the structure or form (organizational chart, if you will) and not only supports the way the organization functions, but does so in such a manner that the organization “does what it does” both horizontally and vertically across the business model.
There are two primary reasons that some organizations succeed where others fail and it has everything to do with who formed and structured the organization, because that is where the idea for its function derived and the driving force behind the culture of how it was formed and functions.
- Organizations that succeed over the long term with a record of sustainability have the following characteristics:
- A forward thinking leader, willing to keep with changes in the marketplace and causing the organization to adapt accordingly and continuously;
- A forward thinking leader willing to “learn on the fly” and causing the organization to do likewise;
- A forward thinking leader willing to take the macro approach with employees rather than the micro approach, understanding that “water finds its highest level sooner when it’s allowed to do so rather than when it’s being prevented from doing so.”
- A forward thinking leader unwilling to sacrifice core values, regardless of circumstances.
- A forward thinking leader willing to make sacrifices before asking others to do so.
2. Organizations that don’t succeed over the long term have none of these characteristics.