Purposeful parts

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Organisms and organisations are systems that usually have purposes of their own. However, the parts of an organism (i.e., hearts, lungs, brain) do not have purposes of their own, but the parts of an organisation do.

An organisation with purposeful parts almost inevitably generates internal conflict.

An organisation is a system whose major deficiencies arise from the ways its parts interact, not from their actions taken separately.
Ackoff!

-What part of an organisation are you in?
-What’s its purpose?
-Think of another part of your organisation.
-What’s its purpose?
-Same or different?

Doing different things does not necessarily mean having different purposes.
Having different purposes is a sign that everyone’s lost sight of the customer. The real one that pays everybody’s wages.

Common symptoms include frequently getting annoyed at another part of an organisation about the same things.
I used to work in an organisation where another part of it was commonly called “shitbags”. Their real name was “Sales”.
Shitbags Sales thought that the part I worked in had the purpose of cancelling sales before they were fulfilled with the customer. My part thought that Shitbags Sales had a purpose of “slamming” or putting as many sales, wanted or unwanted, onto customers accounts as they could to maximise bonus.

We were both right. Shitbags Sales often oversold customers with inappropriate products, as they were monitored and rewarded on sales. More=Better.
We often did delight in cancelling sales on the slightest pretence, over zealous because we resented cleaning up the after-sales mess that Shitbags Sales often left behind them.

We were both reacting to system conditions, creating de facto purposes that worked against the customer, and getting paid for it from the money that came from the customer.

There’s only one loser in all this, and that person sadly is almost always the customer.

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This entry was posted in clarity of purpose, customer, purpose, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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