You are reading the second article of the Purposeful Organization Concept series. In this series, you will discover each section of a quadrant model. This model is based on two criteria. On the one hand, the desire level of personal development. On the other hand, the the level of joined effort around a common goal.
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. Furthermore, 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 are for-profit 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 for the factory quadrant.
Low personal development – The Factory
A person with a low personal development is most of the time not aware of his own power. In brief, two factors seems to influence the desire to increase personal development: intrinsic and extrinsic drive. As a conclusion, low personal development is due to a low drive in one or both factors.
Intrinsic or internal drive
Intrinsic drive is also called internal motivation. It is a desire to achieve a goal and to put in the effort to achieve this goal. You can recognize a person with a lack of intrinsic drive because they tends to:
- be passive:
- wait for orders
- do not have clear goals or desires
- follow what is expected from them by family, society, culture
- give their 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
- bet everything on superficial aspects of life
- just care about money
- expose external signs of wealth
- care about appearance
People with a low intrinsic drive evolve within a context that does not correspond to them. I believe that we all have something that we love to do and when given the opportunity we can thrive. It is also our role to find the context in which intrinsic motivation can be awakened.
Unfortunately, we learned in the school system and our society that we must have a safe job even if it means being unhappy and unfulfilled. My call to you, if you are in this situation, where you are not motivated to do anything. Try to remember what made you alive and start to add activities that you like. You have one life. Live it.
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
External factors influences the person connection with themselves :
- 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 .
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 organization. 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. A higher cooperation between employees, teams and department can improve the efficiency of the whole organization. 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
You can take clear action when you have clear goals. In this case, employees 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 “Factory Model” is adapted to certain context. In order to define the context you can use the PESTEL analysis tool. A factory needs a stable context in order to thrive. In short, you need to evaluate if the following aspect are stable:
- Political frame
- Economic frame
- Social frame
- Technological frame
- Environmental frame
- Legal frame
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.