Organizational systems, their policies, procedures, rules, and instructions can and should be designed to promote the limitless success of the organization.
Management owns the systems, and only they can ensure that the systems are designed to assist everyone in creating success.
By establishing an ongoing internal and external dialog, management can create an organization that never rests on its laurels and is designed to succeed.
In best-of-breed organizations, no matter what industry or sector, the two questions everyone always asks are: “What more?” and “What else?” Then they go there—no matter where “there” is. Because they can. Because they have designed their management and decision-making systems—from personnel and payroll to IT and R&D—to ensure that the organization and everyone in it is set up to succeed.
Assessing the Impact of Organizational Systems
One of the single largest, most consistent management oversights is not understanding that the corporate and organizational systems—those written and unwritten policies, procedures, and instructions to which everyone operates—are a crucial part of the strategic and operational plan of the enterprise. Very simply, if your corporate systems are not designed, implemented, and consistently reviewed and enforced with your organizational strategy in mind, then you’re guaranteed to put unnecessary obstacles in your own way.
Corporate systems, in and of themselves, seem harmless. They provide guidance on everything from compensation, vacation, attendance, and retirement programs to supplier and customer relation systems, product and service policies, and procedures and more.
The intent of the systems is positive. They’re there to protect the organization and its employees from harm and to ensure as fair and positive a workplace as possible. The problem is that they develop in a patchwork over time—usually in response to a particular need or problem of the day which may or may not exist any longer. But the system continues to exist—and it has little or no connection with the strategic direction and needs of the enterprise today.
By stepping back and reviewing your systems from a strategic perspective, you’ll be able to identify quickly those systems that are working toward your goals—and which are not. It’s easy. Simply ask yourself: How does this policy/procedure/instruction help us to achieve our strategic goals, vision, and mission? If you can identify how—and clearly see that its implementation is consistent with that goal—then keep it. If not, there’s your opportunity for positive change. And when you make that change you’ll have created a direct line to new worlds of innovation and profit increases.
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