Today, we focus on “Factories” in other words organisations that do not have a strong common purpose and where employees have a low level of personal development.
In this series, we explore a framework I created to better understand the connection between personal and organizations development. It is important to know where you stand in your personal and organizational journey if you want to evolve and decide what to do next.
On one hand, individuals pursue their personal purpose within organizations. They work for different reasons (e.g. passion, money, interest…). On the other hand, people join organizations in order to offer services or products to private of business clients.
The organizations were grounded as for- or non-profit. In some cases, navigating inside the organisational system is a challenge because of structural, cultural and political reasons.
The framework that you will discover in the coming months aims to unravel the way individuals and organizations interact. To the best of my knowledge, there are no existing framework like this one.
Let’s define those two aspects.
Low personal development – The Factory
A person with a low personal development is most of the time not aware of their own power. Two factors seems to influence it : intrinsic and extrinsic drive. Low personal development is due to a low drive in one or both factors.
Intrinsic or internal drive
They lack self-reflection and tend to:
- being passive:
- wait for orders
- do not have clear goals or desires
- do what is expected from them by family, society, culture
- do the minimum at work to get paid
- never question the system & themselves
- explain failures due to an external reasons
- don’t think about the consequences of their acts
- do not question why things are done a certain way
- bets everything on the outside
- just care about money
- expose external signs of wealth
- care about appearance
Extrinsic or external drive
A low extrinsic drive for personal development can emerge from different and sometimes opposite conditions. The external conditions are in fact framing our perception of life as I explained it in the article about: Understanding your personal story
One can observe that the person connection with themselves was influenced by external factors:
- Dangerous environment where the need to “survive” consumes the brain power
- Cocooned by the family / culture. Thus never learned to deal with difficulty.
- Not encouraged to reflect about philosophical questions e.g. “Is there a purpose to life?”.
- Did not got bored as a child which diminished their creativity
The list is not exhaustive and gives you an impression about what can impact personal development.
I invite you to reflect on the question:
“What kind of external drive fosters personal development?”
It is important to note that some adults may have grown up in a context were personal development was at some level not possible. They may discover later in life that one has way more options thanks to books, videos and people that open the door to their newly discovered potential.
Low common purpose – The Factory
An organization that has a low level of shared common purpose does not focus its effort on bringing employees together to achieve a common purpose. They may have a goals to make money, satisfy investors, create the new thing but do not have one “joining” reason for it. Employees have low interest in pursuing the purpose of the organzation. They do not wake up every morning thinking “Today, I am going to participate to something meaningful to me”.
One can recognize such organization because individuals are not walking in the same direction when it comes to goals setting and actions taking.
The goals of each individuals and teams are not clear to everyone. The efficiency of the whole organization could be improved if the cooperation between employees, teams and department were improved. Those unclear goals create a lack of transparency which engenders:
- Employees do not know the company vision, mission and purpose
- Leaders do not have a purpose to serve the organization expect than to serve themselves
- hermetic silos
- lack or absence of communication
Unclear actions to take
The lack of clear goals impacts how action are taken. Employes do not know what they are supposed to do. They end up doing whatever they think is useful without knowing what others may be doing the same thing. The chance that competition raises is high because it is also unclear who gets the price at the end of the run. This unclear action taking impacts the following aspects:
- unhealthy internal competition
- lack of coordination
- waste of resources
- internal war
- Political intrigue
Unclear goals and actions to take are a big sign that an organization is not driven by a common purpose. This does not mean that an organization is doom to failure but more that they need to evolve in a specific context.
When is it efficient to work in a “Factory”?
The context in which individuals and organizations evolve defines if the “Factory Model” is adapted to the situation.
In order to define the context we will use the PESTEL analysis tool. A factory needs a stable context. If you can answer the following questions by the affirmative. It is safe to have a Factory model.
- Is the Political frame stable?
- Is the Economic frame stable?
- Is the Social frame stable?
- Is the Technological frame stable?
- Is the Environmental frame stable?
- Is the Legal frame stable?
The advantage of a factory is that repetitive tasks are made without a problem. It stability ensure a certain level of quality and security. We need factories in order to provide basic needs or services.
A factory is not able to adapt to unstable context unless it is supported by external actors such as the state or have built a strong position in their market. It may take a long time but they will eventually fall.