Many organizations experience chaos. However, companies that are unable to respond successfully as a result of chaos become stagnant, resulting in insufficient productivity. Successful organizations model effective stages of organizational growth and development, moving from chaos to stability, to high performance. What steps can leaders take to move beyond, chaos to high performance?
Chaotic organizations operate from day to day, without a clear plan in mind. Chaotic companies are typically reactive and manage by addressing issues at the moment. Expectations and policies are unclear, and generally poorly enforced. Employees operate out of self-protection, by blaming and criticizing others, and typically operate through perpetual fear. These organizations lack routine, and clarity, and need more formalized structure, routines and accountability.
Stable organizations are characterized by predictability and control. Structure, routine and policies have been established to remove ambiguity. Goals are clear and employees understand who does what. The major goal of a stable organization is to safeguard daily efficient operations. People typically expect fairness and are generally dutiful. Stable organizations are limited in the sense that efficiency becomes more important than innovation and development. As a result, many of these companies are often left behind because customers find more competitive competitors. Stable organizations need to become more vision-oriented, and individuals should be given more independence and decision making.
High Performance organizations demonstrate shared ownership. Employees are seen as partners in the business and assume responsibility for success. These organizations are highly collaborative, and members have extensive decision-making and problem-solving responsibilities. High Performance organizations are mission-driven, rather than being driven by rules and polices. Processes and systems align with the values of the organization, and the company adapts a long-term point of view.
Senior leaders who are operating with chaotic organizations, need to return to the basic of managing through good structure and order. On the other hand high performance begins with defining and inspiring ideas and values based on the beliefs of the organization. Click here for more information on developing high performance organizations.