The evolution of organizations
The magnitude of the changes in the lives of ordinary people that have taken place over the last few decades is astounding, and when compared against the pace of change occurring in previous centuries the speed of change is accelerating. The changes have mainly been driven by technological, medical science and most spectacularly in the field of communications. Meanwhile, the way our organizations are run has remained moribund. In general, our organizations have not kept up with the changes taking place in most other aspects of life. Unless and until we are able to design and develop our organizations so that they are much more effective in terms of delivering on their purposes, then much of our potential gains from scientific and technological advances are unlikely to benefit the mass of people. Our organizations need to evolve in many respects if they are to serve the people.
Why organizations don't work as they should?
So many of our organizations don’t work as they should. The failure of organizations to deliver on their purpose is endemic throughout all manner of organizations. Examples include: companies that are more focused on delivering rewards to their executives than to providing long-term benefits to their shareholders, which means that where pension funds invested they don’t get the income that they should; governments that are run for the benefit of a political class and don’t deliver what citizens need; charities that serve to enhance the egos of those running them rather than the intended beneficiaries; trade unions that support the political ambitions of their leaders rather than enhancing the value of the labour and knowledge of their members; cooperatives, building societies and the like, that provide more benefit to those running these enterprises than they do to the members that own them; and political parties where the wishes of major donors are more important than those expressed by individual members.
It’s not surprising that so many organizations don’t work as they should when we know that most people involved do not know the precise purpose of their organizations nor their true function. Neither do they have the systems in place that will ensure that their organization focuses upon delivering its real purpose, including the provision of adequate oversight to ensure that they do. Although most organizations of any size are subject to the financial oversight (audit) although even the reliability of this is questionable due to the conflicts of interest that arise with the big auditing firms. Very few organizations are subject to truly independent oversight of their purpose delivery and their focus upon their proper function.