Of all the topics at this site, who would
thought that organization would be considered the great secret of business
Organization is usually considered a rather dry topic that often leaves the reader
disinterested or bored. However, at Growth Online we have discovered what makes organization
in a company so compelling. A company's organization is an ever-changing, dynamic, living organism.
If we can see organization in that light, then we can learn to understand
it, shape it, and improve it.
One definition of organization in a company is
that capacity of a company to
expand what an individual can do alone infinitely in space and time. Organization
can also be explained as the means that enables the other four growth engines of the
company -- market, technology, people, and finance -- to exist, and to expand
endlessly with least effort. Without organization, the full creative potentials of the other four components of
the company could never be realized.
Then how does organization in a company grow
more efficient and effective, more powerful and creative? Our research indicates that
organization itself consists of three basic building blocks. They are Job Positions,
Activities, and Systems. The key to the growth of organization lies in understanding how
each of these subunits of organization develops, and how they interact with one another to
form an organic whole.
Structure -- The first thing to consider is if the structure of jobs in the
company are right for today's business and for your plans for tomorrow. Therefore, it's
worth doing a serious analysis of whether or not the structure of your company contains
the right makeup and balance of job positions.
Authority -- Second we need to
examine whether each job position in the company is matched by a level of authority for
the person in that job to carry out the tasks contained within the job. In addition, the
person filling the job needs to clearly know whom he or she is to report to (for the
overall job and for each task in the job).
Distribution of Tasks -- Third, one
needs to examine whether the job tasks that are assigned to the individual are the right
tasks for that position. Perhaps some tasks for a job should not be included in the job,
or some tasks may need to be added to the job, or some may simply need to be delegated to
another job position (especially less important tasks involved in the job). Therefore, an
analysis of the content of every job position the company is also worthy of a detailed
analysis in the company.
Right People, Training -- Fourth,
once job positions in the company are properly allocated, and job tasks for individual
jobs are maximized for efficiency, individual job positions need to be filled by the right
people, and each person trained to the hilt for that job.
An individual person carrying out a task is an act, which is perhaps the minutest
subunit that exists in a company. Individual acts are linked to one another in chains of
acts called activities. Like jobs, activities can be continuously improved
throughout the organization as well. Each improvement to an activity releases fresh energy
and makes the organization more effective.
Therefore, reviewing the major activities in a
company is a highly worthwhile endeavor. For example, many high tech manufacturing
companies are reviewing their product development activities, thereby maximizing the speed
of products and services to market, as well as the efficiency and quality of their
products and services. Therefore, a thorough activities analysis can
simultaneously make the company more efficient and effective, releasing great energy and
Make a list of all of the activities in your
company (such as selling, accounting, manufacturing, human resources, information
technology, etc.). Then determine (e.g. through research, interviews, etc.) how each of
the critical activities can be upgraded or reorganized. Then implement your plan for
improvement. Follow this up with improvements of less critical activities.
The ultimate building block of organization is systems. Systems are simply mechanisms that
automate activities, or interlinking activities. Systems possess the power to carry out
activities much more quickly, precisely and regularly than individuals can perform them on
their own. The productivity of an organization is determined by the extent to which
routine and recurring physical activities are systematized and turned into standard
Systemization doesn't just make activities
work more efficient; it makes people more relaxed and cheerful at work because the
activities almost "take care of themselves." In fact, the happiest people are
often in companies that have turned most or all activities in the company into
Think about systems in your company (e.g.
computerized bookkeeping, email, sales tracking, sales analysis, manufacturing, credit
checking, etc.). Then think about the following questions. Do you have systems in place
for every major activity in the company? Which activities need to be systematized? How
should they be systematized? And then there are the existing systems. How can they be
upgraded to the next level of efficiency?
Coordinating and Integration
The ultimate truth of organization is the ability of the three building
blocks to work together. The real power of organization arises from its capacity for
coordination and integration of people, activities, and systems. When departments and
divisions move from isolation to coordination and integration, the real power of
organization is released. Coordination and integration are the advanced tools of
When people job positions are more coordinated
with one another, when activities are more integrated and coordinated with one another
(e.g. selling to accounting, manufacturing to information technology, and endless other
connections), and when systems are interrelated (e.g. accounting and bookkeeping to sales
tracking, or sales tracking to manufacturing, etc.), the real power of organization is
released. This coordination and integration can lead to explosive energy and vitality in
the idea of integration of systems. Suppose there are 25 systems in a
company with a minimum of coordination and they are all coordinated to a
maximum extent, the same staff can accomplish twice or thrice more. To
give a simple example, in a college if the timetable of the dozen
departments is not coordinated, i.e. if each department has its own timetable, the two-year course will extend to five years and twice as many
classrooms must be built.
the way, software programs and/or Internet sites are a powerful tool to
organize activities into systems. They can also be used to integrate and
coordinate existing systems together. For example, a project management
program could be used to coordinate the schedules of the different
department in this example.)
So ask yourself the following questions about
your company. How can you better coordinate and integrate tasks among job positions? How
can you better coordinate and integrate activities in the company to one another? How can
you better coordinate and integrate systems in the company to one another?
Organization is a living organism that can be energized to
and any thing related to it. The secret to keeping an organization alive and youthful is
to keep it operating at its maximum capacity and to keep increasing that capacity by
constantly upgrading the building blocks of organization (job positions, activities, and
systems), and then coordinating and integrating the subunits that make up that building
block. In addition, organization is maximized when top management develops
a vision and mission, including clear objectives and business values,
which are well communicated by top management to the staff, and well
executed by the employees in the company.
- Establish clear job descriptions for every job position
and create a system whereby the responsibilities and authority of each position are clear
to other people in the company.
- Analyze the job positions of executives, managers and
supervisors to identify job position tasks that can be delegated to lower levels
and the conditions necessary to make that delegation effective.
- Conduct an analysis of major activities in the
company such as selling, advertising, order taking, invoicing, product development,
project management, purchasing, maintenance, customer service, dispatch, etc. to identify
ways to increase the speed, reduce the cost, eliminate unnecessary steps and improve the
quality of these activities. Afterwards extend the analysis to minor activities as well.
- Turn every activity in the company into one or more systems.
- Assess the effectiveness of important systems in
the company in terms of their speed, manpower requirements, quality of work and cost of
operation. Identify steps to improve their performance on these variables.
- Consider all the ways you can coordinate and integrate
existing activities to one another, and then systems to one another.
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