Organizational excellence – Importance of clarity and passion

December 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Posted in Blogroll, Organizational Excellence, Systems Thinking | Leave a comment

As I had mentioned earlier, organizational excellence requires a fine balance between the production system which aims to continue doing efficiently what has worked so far and the innovation system which aims to find better and more relevant ways of doing things. The production system relies on measurement & control while the innovation system comes up with different improvement initiatives.
For some time now, I have observed many good initiatives flounder and get dragged for months, sometime years, without much worthwhile outcome. There are a few, which one can count on fingers of one hand, move fast and start showing useful results quite quickly. I was wondering what the difference is. After giving it a thought, I find a few pointers and am keen to know if they make sense.

I find high level of simplicity and clarity in those initiatives that succeed. There is no attempt to include anything and everything that might be useful. As time goes by, a watchful eye is kept on requests and pressures to increase scope, thus ensuring that it remains lean.

Secondly, I find that at least something is produced quickly and visible to those who would benefit from it. There is an effective feedback loop which ensures that further progress is on right track and unnecessary rework is avoided. The feedback cycle also creates momentum which propels it forward even faster.

Lastly, I find that there is at least one person who feels passionately about it; even though he / she may or may not be leading the effort, still drives it against all odds. On the other hand, a task assigned to a group or committee without any of its members being passionate about it can lead to its going astray very quickly. The periodic status reports may give a false sense of progress but by the time it is realized that nothing worthwhile is coming out, it is already too late.

We see many such cases, not just in the organization we are part of, but even in our city state or country. We can really make great progress, even with the limited resources at our disposal, if we take care of these few things.

I would really appreciate any thoughts / experiences from you that either support or challenge what is said above.


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