Figure 37 Organizational Factors Organization Level

CONDITIONS

PROCESS

OUTPUTS

Direction

Systems

Results

ORGANIZATION

• Business situation

• Planning

• Success measures

• Mission/vision

• Policy/procedure

• Profitability

• Strategy

• Support

• Competitive position

• Structure

• Information systems

• Stakeholder satisfaction

• Goals

• Budgeting

• Monitoring

and well understood they are at all levels of the organization, the business strategy, the structure the organization has chosen to implement the strategy, and the broad goals of the organization. These organizational Direction elements occur repeatedly at multiple levels in the organization—unit, department, division, or however the organizational structure is broken down—and any analysis must incorporate an assessment of how well-aligned these directional elements of the system are from level to level in the organization.

These organizational conditions then translate into the broad governing processes of an organization or its Systems for guiding and controlling the work Process. This box includes things like planning, the development and dissemination of policies and procedures, organizational support provided to the work process, the information systems, budgeting, and monitoring the work effort.

Hopefully, all this organizational systems process applied to the people in the performance of the work will deliver valuable organizational Outputs, which we label simply as Results. Even here, however, it is not a matter of a simple measure. A number of variables must be considered to fully understand the organizational results. Besides basic success measures, there are issues of overall profitability, the resulting competitive position, and most importantly, stakeholder satisfaction. It is important to note that the "stakeholders" include not only shareholders but also staff, customers, suppliers, and the community within which the organization operates.

These nine boxes of the Organizational System Scan Model, covering the external as well as internal aspects of the organizational system, clearly are a very complex mix of system variables, all of which must be considered in creating and maintaining an effective and efficient new organization. The value of the model is as a comprehensive, systemic template to use when considering the organizational system as a whole. It also helps to assure that no relevant system variable is left out when analyzing organizational problems and opportunities or when designing and implementing changes.

Most of the problems that organizational managers and executives deal with are not, in actuality, as simple and contained as they may assume at first blush. In fact, many of the common deficiencies encountered in organizations today are, in effect, self-inflicted by the management of the organization when they take actions that do not take into account the systemic nature of the organization. A simple or obvious solution developed in one function of the organization can have an impact on a number of other areas, and total organizational effectiveness can be diminished far beyond any potential gain in the particular function, as the examples in earlier chapters showed.

Also, many experienced managers are familiar with what we term "Lazarus Problems," problems that apparently rise from the dead. No matter how many times a problem has been resolved and buried, it just keeps coming back. This phenomenon is usually the result of the rest of the system reacting to an initial solution to a problem and forcing things back to the way they were. As we said earlier, solutions implemented without consideration of the entire organizational system often suppress (for a while) but do not really solve problems.

Changes to a system, if they are to have any hope for long-term success, require systemic changes implemented in a systematic manner. Changes made and maintained in this manner will last and create a new reality in the organization. (Appendix C presents a brief overview of the Organizational Scan Model, which is also included on the CD-ROM accompanying this book.)

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