Why Organization's Fail

Organization failure begins at the top. Rotary did not stop growing because people were not interested in joining local Rotary clubs. The number of people joining Rotary clubs proves that. It stopped growing because its leaders assumed it was in the business of supplying humanitarian services rather than in the business of creating Rotarians; they were product oriented instead of member oriented.

Red Text Note

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Rotary Organism - Will it Survive the Twenty-first Century?

Almost half of the twenty-five (25) companies that were in Tom Peters and Robert Waterman's 1982 book, "In Search of Excellence," no longer exist, are in bankruptcy, or have performed poorly.

According to research from Professor Gary Biddle, University of Hong Kong, only seventy-four (74) of the original Standard and Poor's (S&P) 500 organizations created in 1957 are still on the list.  Only twelve (12) have outperformed the S&P index.

Did the leadership (founders, executives, directors, etc) of the organizations at the gate or already entombed in the Organization Cemetery deliberately lead their companies down that path?  Probably not.  So what happened?  The prime reason is, of course, management mistakes.  All of those leaders were, or still are, intelligent people.  Upon further analysis, the majority of the reasons for their many and varied mistakes fall into these categories:
  • They failed to recognize that their organization's prime purpose was to create and communicate (talk and listen) with those who fund operations - customers - by knowing and satisfying their reasons for supporting the organization i.e. the business they were actually in.
  • They did not get the information they needed to make crucial decisions, and
  • When given the facts, they made or accepted excuses instead of uncovering and addressing critical issues.
Is the future of the Rotary Organism (Rotary International, its member clubs, and The Rotary Foundation) already written in a tombstone?  
Are all levels of management getting the information they need to make vital decisions?

Are all levels of the Rotary Organism's management facing its critical issues head on or are they making excuses (it's the economy; that's not in the budget; it's not our responsibility; that's not the way we do it; we've never done that; that's not my responsibility; we didn't know that; we don't know how) and the list of excuses goes on, on, on, on?