Who is “the organization”?
Many times we hear or find ourselves saying “the organization should take care of this..” “the organization should do something about it…” “the organization has to decide…” and similar such things.
The question is ‘What or who is an organization?’
Whenever we say or hear the above, are we referring to senior management in the organization? or it’s just an intuitive answer to an unknown?
If we look somewhat deep we will see that there is no such thing as an organization. We may call the board, the CEO, the founders etc. as the organization but in real sense the organization is much much more than all of them combined. An organization – among many other things – is each and every one who works with the organization. In essence each one one within the organization is the organization themselves.
I also think that the question of “who is the organization” has a very fundamental aspect to it – the context of the question.
Lets say that you visit your bank branch. who is the organization [bank] for you in this context? is it the CEO of the bank, the security guard at the door, the receptionist, the cashier ? How does your interaction with any of the above result in your impression/perception of the bank? How do the decisions/actions that each one of the above make impact our opinion of the organization [bank in this case]?
Do we really mean to say that organization means “decision maker”. Do we consciously or unconsciously think that SOMEONE is there who makes the decisions and that person is the company. Maybe yes – then who is that person?
Great organizations are those that empower their employees to make decisions – be they right or wrong. If a person makes 100 decisions there would be occasions where 2-3 decisions go wrong but 97 will go right. If everyone within the organization is aware of this and instill this into them, make this a way of working; then each one within the organization would be “the organization” – the decision makers.