Thursday, August 1, 2019

Four Factors of Organizational Success Essay

There are numerous ways to achieve organization success. Ask any two business guru their opinions and you will undoubtedly get two unique lists. Successful entrepreneurs covet their secrets of success and business school faculty lecture what the latest texts have written. Defining a check list of do’s and don’ts may seem like a rather easy task, but the implementation of those ideas is what will truly lead to organizational success. But what is organization success? That question can have many answers depending on the business. A University might define it as job placement of graduating students, but a middle school may be successful if its American history program is nationally recognized. A publicly traded company (and its stock holders) could define it as profits over the last quarter, whereas a small technology start-up could consider the issue of a patent on their newest widget a success. It’s my assessment that of all the factors pertaining to organizational success, those that revolve around the people within the organization and adaptation within the organization are the largest factors of success. I believe when a commitment to improvement, a continuous workforce development plan, and an implementation of a shared vision are harmoniously integrated by a resilient leader, it will place a company on a path to organizational success. Commitment to Continuous Quality (Process Improvement) There are no perfect scenarios where a company continues to profit and does nothing to improve. Updating a process is a continuous method that involves employees at all levels while focusing on the needs of the customer (John, 1992). Successful organizations are able to identify potential areas for increasing the value of processes or products. Not all products need to undergo substantial change in order to qualify as a process improvement. A change in the perceived value of the product is all that is needed. For example, a recent advertisement from McDonald’s is touting their Egg McMuffin sandwich as a luxury and higher class item. Taking from old consumer adage â€Å"It’s the Cadillac of †¦Ã¢â‚¬ , McDonalds has substituted â€Å"McMuffin† for Cadillac. There have been no changes to the recipe of the sandwich, but they have changed the perception of the item by comparing it to a separate premium item and in turn increasing a perceived value (Biasi, 2012). Whether a company modifies a current product, updates a process or simply re-brands, constant improvement is a key factor in the success of an organization. Shared vision In order for a company to achieve a goal, its employees must be on board with the missions of the organization. That is, employees must be aligned with the mission, values and goals of the organization in order to foster growth and achieve long term success (The secrets of organizational success, 1995). In order for an organization to implement any changes, those within (at all levels) must share in the vision of the organization (Kanter, 1988). Every company should have a vision. Without a vision there are no goals to achieve and the company has no definition of success in the future. A successful vision provides a company with a few goals to which they can devote their resources to while inspiring its workforce to achieve those goals (Clancy, n.d.). The importance (as stated by Clancy) lies with inspiring employees. A vision alone needs support. Simply wanting something done, without dedicating recourses to it, is futile. Creating a shared vision, one in which employees have a stake, is significant in the organizations long term success. Providing a personal connection to the product (or process) drastically changes the way employees approach their work and makes a substantial impact on their work quality (Hill & Tande, 2003). People have to want to work, not because they are told to (Senge, 1990). The creation of a shared vision adds value to the work of an employee. A paycheck cannot be the only motivation. The employee must want to take stake in the operation of the company and understand their work is critical to the mission of the company. Continuous Learning / Workforce Development Former CEO of Intel Andrew Grove once said, â€Å"Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure† (1996). It is important for a company to provide its staff with the opportunities to develop and provide new insights into company processes. While in his tenure at Intel, Grove urged executive to allow staff to experiment with new techniques and processes while concurrently performing the production of existing products (Grove, 1996). Acknowledging the importance of creative freedom and invention allows for an improved process to be implemented without a significant reduction in production levels (Sheridan, 2004). Learning enhances people’s abilities; it drives creation, workplace competencies and motivates others to do the same (Loon, Lim, Teck, & Lai, 2012). A company can develop their staff internally while creating new ideas, updating procedures and processes. Constant improvements do not come automatically. Instituting a program that promotes continuous learning and workforce development can eliminate down time between successes and will create a substantial competitive advantage. Strategic decision maker As an organization undergoes change, its leaders also need to have the willingness to do so. Strategic decision makers are flexible yet concise; they must make crucial decisions regarding growth, divestment, new products and cost cutting (Grant, 2008). As a company attempts to succeed in the marketplace, its leader must effectively navigate a myriad of executive decisions that affect the livelihood of the company. While any company can claim they want to improve, the implementation of that vision is the key. R.M. Kanter (1988) discusses that the best of those leaders are called â€Å"Change Masters†; leaders who are able to create a shared vision, encourage innovation, and support internal education. She continues that change isn’t always necessary, but a strategic decision maker will identify times where change is eminent and make adjustment rapidly. Take for example Lee Iacocca and Chrysler. Before his hire, the company was on the edge of complete failure. Something desperately needed to change. With the hire of Lee Iacocca came a decision to layoff those employees not willing to accept changes he believed would right the company. Those who stayed for a maximum $14 per hour salary, redesigned the brand and help the company earn over $2.5 billion within three years of his hire. (Roberts, n.d.). I am not suggesting a change in company culture is necessary, but a leader must be able to identify the need for change, have the ability to implement such change, and the gumption to do so. Finding a leader with the before mentioned qualifications will aid in corporate success. Four factors working together There are many other factors which could lead to (or prevent) organizational success. It’s my belief that the four points briefly discussed are deeply intertwined and provide an ever changing path towards success. The proper mix of these four items creates an environment that fosters company development. Just a few examples of the cohesion of these four factors have been noted in other publications: * Great leaders must be passionate about their visions and responsible for advancing workforce development (Gibson, Ivancevich, Donnelly & Konopaske, 2006; Loon, et al., 2012). * Continuous learning among all levels leads to future process improvements (Zairi, & Whymark. 2000). * Leaders must also have the mindset required for visionary leadership; otherwise they are managers and not leaders (Transforming leadership for success and sustainability, 2011). * Continuous process improvements that are derived from a shared vision are more readily adapted by employees (Guti, Llorà ©ns-M ontes, & Óscar. 2009). The items above are not meant to be all inclusive. There are numerous other factors that one could argue have equal impact on success. While I do not discredit those other factors, it’s my determination that the four mentioned are factors that are able to be controlled within the organization. Other factors such as environmental conditions, consumer behaviors, and external costs, remain out of the control of the business leader. Focusing on supplying staff with the necessary leadership to achieve the company vision will lead to success. As the newest management fads pass and business trends change, one thing will remain constant: the success of organization will rely on heavily people who are a part of the organization. References Biasi, A. (2012) Increasing Perceived Value (of your product or service). Smart Marketing Solutions. Clancey, K.J. (n.d.). Shocking truth of the month. Most companies are operating without a vision. Retrieved from Gibson, J.L., Ivancevich, J.M., Donnelly, J.H. Jr., Konopaske, R. (2008). Organizations. Behavior, structure, processes. McGraw-Hill Irwin. New York, NY. Grove, A. (1996). Only the paranoid survive. Double Day Publishing. New York, NY. Guti, L. J., F.J. Llorà ©ns-Montes, & Óscar, F. B. S. (2009). Six sigma: From a goal-theoretic perspective to shared-vision development. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 29(2), 151-169. doi: Hill, B., & Tande, C. (2003). Personal impact maps: Chart the course to a shared vision. Workspan, 46(10), 38-42. Retrieved from ABI/Inform database. John, S. W. F.,Jr. (1992). Managing process improvement at the cherry point naval aviation depot. National Productivity Review (1986-1998), 11(4), 533-533. Retrieved from ABI/Inform database Kanter, R. M. (1988). Change masters vs. change stiflers. Executive Excellence, 5(3), 12-13. Retrieved from ABI/ Inform database Loon, M., Yet, M. L., Teck, H. L., & Cai, L. T. (2012). Transformational leadership and job-related learning. Management Research Review, 35(3), 192-205. doi: Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York: Doubleday/Currency. Sheridan, J.H. (2004). 1997 Technology Leader of the Year, Andy Grove: Building An Information Age Legacy. Industry Week. Retrieved from Sudhir, K. C., Pullig, C., & F, D. A. (1997). Critical success factors from an organizational life cycle perspective: Perceptions of small business owners from different business environments. Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, 9(1), 47-0_7. Retrieved from ABI/Inform database. The secrets of organizational success: Aligning employees behind new corporate goals and objectives. (1995) Training & Development, 49(8), 28-28. Retrieved from ABI/Inform Database. Transforming leadership for success and sustainability. (2011). Strategic Direction, 27(3), 19-21. doi: Zairi, M., & Whymark, J. (2000). The transfer of best practices: How to build a culture of benchmarking and continuous learning – part 2. Benchmarking, 7(2), 146-167. Retrieved from ABI/Inform database.

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