Mission-based organizations should think twice about creating more mission work without the full support and wisdom from a business sustainability standpoint.
Most of the time, they wrestle with the fact that since they have the work of helping, they should be able to marshal resources, support, and other important resources to fully realize their objectives. This is never automatic.
It takes a lot of courage and guts to realize that mission is not enough and will not be sufficient to carry the organization through its many stages of development.
If there is no evolution in management and business understanding, the mission becomes unproductive-"hence, give me because I give this back" will later on become subject to more critical and demanding requirements from society. This is painful to see as many organizations languish in near obsolescence without realizing their fullest potential.
There is only one way- to review their business model and ask the most important question: if this is not working for us, can we be flexible in getting to our objectives through an alternative model of doing and being?
Let's approach this with an open mind and an open heart.
If speakers, authors, and experts selling products and services have the following words: adaptive, agile, or disruptive, run to the hills.
It is just a fad and will not make your organization better if you just follow the hype, paying for a few hours of lecture, and without actually touching your organizations' operations, values, or ways of doing.
Change is an adversarial process. There will be blood for sure. There are no spectators sitting on the fence that will be successful.
Whether you are instituting changes in organizations, industries, movements, and in individual lives, you must be cognizant of patterns, parallels, and processes.
Patterns are what we see demonstrated (not verbally declared) and we cannot ignore. There are reasons why things are done the same way. You need to know if those reasons still valid and valuable or they passed their value and worth. Crafting the game plan for change is essentially building a case why the new is better than the old, answers to the needs, aspirations, and obsessions of that specific group. In psychology, patterns provide clues and keys to unraveling what groups and individuals face and unearth significant lessons to get your initiatives right. If you are looking at a systemic change, what patterns do you see in every parts of the system? What significant behaviors do they exhibit? Who had significant power and control over the other parts?
There are parallels in many places. You should take some of the lessons learned in other places and apply it in your given context. Let the ones that have universal merit begin to work in your situation. For example, the overarching role of the government to spur and grow business is a universal question to pose in any situation, problem, or geography. Should they pursue an enabler, backer, and supporter role rather than rig the system for the benefit of a few? How groups can become bold to take on higher-levels of vision and mission for themselves rather than merely serving the status quo, which God forbids is as old as 50 years ago? Can the institutor be both leading and following? I was talking with Alan Hall, the COO of the Plant Protein Alliance of Alberta. I find that there are many commonalities in other fields with what they were doing, in leading changes when the players are perceived as big, fat, and lazy and rocking the boat is high-risk.
And processes are as important as the end goals. Initially, any change proposal will be met by an overwhelming resistance, challenge, and suspicion. But once, a critical mass is achieved, the ball will be rolling on its own dynamics and momentum. There is no stopping what had been ignited. There are three reasons why change initiatives fail to get that support it deserve: first, because it has no appeal to the broader segment of its target population, second, it could not justify the change with benefits outweighing all the stresses and costs of surrendering the old, and third, the guardians of the system were not folded into the grand plan. Keep your processes tight and strategic at all times. Don't waste time on peripheral issues that do not have a bearing in the long term.
Patterns, parallels, and processes- keep that in mind in navigating your next best change efforts. There are no shortcuts to it except those that have been put in academic paper but rarely works in real chaos.
It's good to learn from a client that they want to improve, change for the better, reach the next stars, and continuously innovate. But when pressed on specific issues that needed to be dealt with, they get tongue-tied.
Change is only a mantra when people do not want to change, whether this is for individuals, groups, or organizations.
They think disruption is the 'new name' for change. Yet, before you can disrupt you have to improve the way business is done in the first place.
Some of them do not want any help.
Some of them live in quiet desperation trying to do everything they are not equipped and not supposed to be doing.
Some of them try to do things ending in disastrous results.
If you are not ready for change, face the mirror and be honest about it.
No one can force you to change if you don't want it. Not in a million years with million-dollar coaches!
Facebook has recently announced its new cryptocurrency which is called, Libra. Libra will be independent of Facebook and will evolve not only as a currency but a financial institution eventually. Facebook being one of the three tech giants, entered the cryptocurrency race and this is not surprising.
Governments and regulators are uniquely aware of the benefits as well as the concerns about the dominance of the big 3: wiping small competitors, disregarding regulations and rules, and imposing their heftiness on every one else.
When giants ruled the earth, a billion years ago, the rest of the species grew too. And yet in the era of uber-competition and massive technological race, it is really a zero-sum game- the swiftest with the mostest?
If the government can't battle with the billion-dollar corporations in terms of implementing regulations to support consumers' interests, where will the consumers go for protection, support, and welfare?
In geo-politics, the rise of the two superpowers 60 years ago culminated in the dominance of only one big superpower- the United States of America which became the 'accidental cop' of the world. Yet, regional powers have emerged with renewed vigor, upsetting the hegemony of a superpower using trade, economics, and partnerships to leverage their reach amongst other nations and impose their interests.
This echoes what has been the current narrative about it: it is good when it is benevolent and moral, and it's really bad when it acts like an evil empire- which can be embodied in one organization at any given time.
I had a conversation with a friend I hadn't seen for a long time. After all the niceties, we talked about the organization where we both became trustees at one point and continued to have strong affinities with it after all those years.
She mentioned something about mission incongruence. Incongruence manifests if there is a misalignment, disharmony, or conflict in mission/goals/objectives. The organization is swimming in two ponds, one in service delivery and the other on in profit-oriented venture where in either one or the other, it is failing miserably.
The question with mission incongruence is-if the organization is suffering from incongruence, then somebody has to stand up and say, this is not working!. I think a lot of organizations are in denial and could not bear to admit that whatever is ailing them is not a matter of execution, but of strategy. The strategy which was once the most sound or the most plausible of all direction, is now ready to be reviewed and reexamined in the light of changes to the organization internally and externally.
When the organization says 'ouch', then what is the remedy? The remedy is not far behind. Usually, it is the combination of creating pragmatic changes to things at the strategic management level and down to the operations and service delivery.
Denial in personal life and in business can be removed when the darkness is lighted, it could no longer afford to be in the dark anymore. This is true in our organizational lives, when one part is examined, there is no excuse not to see what is really going on, the rut, the mold, and the spiders!.
Light in this case are the facts and evidence that comes from observed reality. Take time to observe what is actually going on versus what is believed to be.