Welcome to The Age of Organizational Effectiveness, a podcast that explores stories about organizations and their performance. The podcast is designed to help organizations find their path to greatness. The programming includes general episodes that touch on management theory, as well as specific episodes containing interviews with business, government, or non-profit managers and thought leaders.
While the podcast looks forward to The Age of Organizational Effectiveness, it acknowledges that we currently live in an age of ‘efficiencyism,’ characterized by a fixation on efficiency without questioning its basic assumptions and consequences. The signs of ‘efficiencyism’ include unnecessary layoffs, irrational budget cuts, and a general thrust toward doing “more with less” at the first sign of financial trouble. ‘Efficiencyism’ seldom works, however, because organizations are complex human systems that react to stimuli in unpredictable ways. Efficiency efforts in one part of an organization do not necessarily improve the performance of the organization as a whole.
I believe that the purpose of every organization is the same, that is, to be effective within its environment — whether in business, government, or non-profit sectors. The recommended approach is captured by the phrase “serve your environment & be rewarded in return.” Conversely, organizations are subject to marginalization or elimination by their environment over time if they do not serve it effectively. A Darwinian-style culling is at work behind the scenes to bring about “survival of the effective.” In the end, effectiveness is about converting an organization’s supply-side intentions to serve its environment (through its offerings) into the demand-side behaviors of uptake, adoption and use (of the offerings). Viewed in this way, effectiveness becomes a concept that can be verified in the field and, when achieved, confers all that an organization needs to survive and thrive.
There is no upper limit to how effective an organization can become. I believe that organizations generally strive to be as effective as possible within their chosen environment, but there has been a good deal of confusion about what that actually means. For the first time, theory and practice are coming together to make effectiveness a practical concept. This podcast will try to show the way. If you are new to this site, an introduction can be found in Episode 001 — where a manifesto for The Age of Organizational Effectiveness is discussed.
There is a companion book (Become Truly Great) that has been developed from this podcast, which can be previewed here.
The podcast is brought to you by Assumption Analysis, Inc., a management consulting firm that specializes in improving organizational performance and effectiveness.
Charles G. Chandler, Ph.D.
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