Staying true to your philosophy

Posted on August 3, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Since the boom of the industial era, organisations have been trying to define themselves. Senior management and staff develop corporate values, philosophies and cultural pillars in hope to differentiate themselves from every other organisation.

A noble idea, to personify the organisation; breathe life and meaning to form a character and to give it colour. Thus, besides naming the organisation, management molds the character of the organisation just like a parent to a child.

Henceforth, organisation ‘X’ will like to do certain things, dislike and reject certain notions, have their temper shown when an activity/incident violates the beliefs of ‘X’.

As with every organisation, there will come a time when management changes hands. Founding members shy away from shuffing their thoughts down the throats of successors, afraid of impeding the development of the organisation with ‘out-of-date’ ideologies.

Newly appointed managment also tend to pick up their roles with zest and implement change, hoping to outshine previous leaders. The theory is simple; in order to prove one’s capabilities, the person needs to raise the bar, make changes, develop something new.

The resulting consequences are obvious. The organisation gets thrown into a period of roughness, where it belches out the previous values and re-molds its character to fit the new management. Much like a person going through a break-up and facing the rush of different emotions reacting at the same go. It will eventually come to a point where there is a change in lifestyle. If the change is serious enough, the person sheds his previous character and becomes a totally different body.

If the organisation is lucky, batches of management will share similar philosophies and ideals. The resulting changes will be minimal, and the character of the organisation is safeguarded. Otherwise, the organisations change from its original form and is forced to give up much of its hardearned pedigree to develop into something new.

The premise here of course, that the original philosophies and values are sound ones.

As life has it, things are never as rosy. As management embark to seek the best candidates for the job, there are many factors that come into play and philosophical congruence is often neglected.

When selecting a candidate, it’s usually on operational excellence, ability to adapt as a team, willingness to commit, etc. ‘Share the same vision’ is still a relatively new notion to many and the value of it remains relatively unknown.

Perhaps it’s left to destiny for organisations change and molds itself constantly to become the perfect self. Perhaps its assumed that the new candidate will be expected to follow the same route as the precedents and keep the ‘ship steered in the same direction’.

Management must wake up to the notion that while words can describe the character of the organisation, it is the leaders who set the example. And argue as you may, culture is still more or less set top down..

To the senior management in organisations, live your corporate philosophies, guard it zealously. It is your differentiating factor from your competitors. It will be what makes or breaks you as a person, and as an organisation.



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One Response to “Staying true to your philosophy”

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you very cryptic lor… too cheem for me already… i need an explanation over lunch…are you proud of me that I speak Singlish now?

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