Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How to Kill a Successful Organization ?

Don't ask me why I selected a title like this for this blog. Some of you are familiar with famous book titles like 'the games people play'. Knowingly or unknowingly people also play 'games' aiming at killing or destroying successful organizations.

Organizations are well knit networks of people for accomplishing some defined tasks or objectives in a defined framework of rules or bylaws. There are governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, business organizations and non-business organizations, charity and non-charity organizations, professional and non-professional organizations, registered and non-registered organizations, etc., etc.

Our governments function through various kinds of organizations. Businesses are carried out through organizations called companies or firms. In short every individual now-a-days is associated with one or more kinds of organizations. Even your family is one kind of organization, perhaps a smaller version of it.

If you are an employed person you belong to an organization which employs you and you work within the organization to earn your livelihood.

So government departments, companies, societies, trusts, partnership firms, institutions, professional bodies, etc are all organizations.

Organizations are for the collective benefit of the individuals of the society or the nation. But unfortunately, organizations which do destructive, anti-social or illegal activities also exist. But for the purpose of this discussion I do not include the latter here.

I want to discuss only about those organizations which are set up for objectives which are legally approved , socially acceptable and for the common good of both the individuals within the organization and outside it.

I consider such an organization successful if it is fulfilling its objectives reasonably well for quite some time and has made a visible presence in the society by their collective efforts.

If the public and those members or individuals connected to the organization generally perceive the organization as good, then the organization can be deemed as successful.

Just as individuals, organizations also has a birth, a childhood, an adult hood, periods of sickness and old age and even death.

Unlike individuals whose life expectancy is determined by natural law and cannot exceed certain maximum, organizations can be kept alive and healthy for longer periods by some techniques known as 'good organizational management'.

If the head is the main organ of an individual, the head of the organization is perhaps the most important member of an organization. He or she is called the Chief Executive Officer (CXO) of the organization.

Just as a brain dead individual can be kept alive for some time, a headless organization also can be kept alive for some time without performing.

Just as individuals have parents, organizations also have parents, some one who takes initiatives in creating it. But once an organization gets created and gets a good CXO and survives its infancy period, it is normally capable of surviving provided its CXO functions well.

Unlike individuals, organizations are capable of replacing its heads by itself or by adopting self sustainable techniques devised for its survival.

However big or strong an organization, its strength and weakness both lies with its CXO. Interestingly, this CXO has to be an individual. Experiments to have a sub organization as a CXO have been found not so successful.

Just as successful individuals have other individuals as their envious enemies, successful organizations also can get such kind of enemies who try to destroy it or weaken it from time to time. This is the threat to any organization.

Even individuals who grudge an  enmity or envy can pose a threat to an organization. Even individual members of an organization sometimes become intellectually or mentally sick posing an internal threat to an organization's existence.

Though normally, such periodical threats and attacks are overcome by an organization which is run by an efficient  CXO. Organizations where good systems and practices are in place also can resist such attacks for quite some time.

But clever enemies who are determined to destroy an organization knows the trick to accomplish their task. They know that the CXO is their trump card. What they normally do is to get a characterless and incompetent person selected and installed as the CXO of the organization.

They know very well that an incompetent driver, pilot or captain can very easily drive the truck, plane or ship to destruction very easily.

And exactly that is how the enemies, both internal and external, of an organization try to destroy a successful organization.

First get a pliable, not so experienced or competent individual, project him as great and then install him as the CXO of that very successful organization as its CXO.

Occasionally some organization parents, out of sheer love and affection to some individuals, allow them to direct the organization, just as some wealthy kids are allowed to drive the expensive car by their parents before they get the driving license, to the eventuality of an accident later.

In either case, one thing is sure. If the CXO of the organization is an incompetent and characterless person, the organization will definitely suffer seriously. But the effects may not be visible immediately always !

Leadership by efficient, competent and honest individuals is the key to success for any organization.

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