Complacency, chaos or congruence? What is your organization’s state of affairs?
Today’s organizations can be categorized into three different states of affairs. The overwhelming majority of them fall into a complacency or chaotic state of affairs. Very few organizations can boast of being congruent, where their efforts and energies are effective as well as efficient.
Complacent organizations rest on their past successes and take a retrenched and often reactive approach to their business. In this organization, status quo is the norm and everything that is suggested as a change is deemed not adequate. A common phrase used is: “we’ve never done it that way before.” Complacency can come from fear that we will not be successful in a new area or market; fear that we do not have the right competence in terms of systems and personnel.
However, complacency can come as a result of success when an organization has climbed to the top of its market niche and believes that the future will always be secure. A business illustration of a manufacturer of horse-drawn carriages comes to mind. This company fell into complacency when they had a monopolistic corner on the market and did not care when horseless carriages came along (the first automobiles). Their lapse of foresight and blatant complacency cost them their business.
Chaotic organizations are by far the most frequent and are often characterized by a “fire fighting” mentality. In this state of affairs, we see a lot of energy and activity being expended by workers, but these efforts are going in many different directions. Efforts are not targeted to effectively reach clearly-defined organizational strategies. Leaders and managers in these organizations see their value as putting out fires throughout the organization. Leadership takes on a “program of the month” flavor.
Congruency is a rare achievement attained by an organization, where the efforts and resources of the organization are efficiently used and effective in reaching organizational goals. In this state of affairs, the workforce is united as a team and committed to being part of this community while providing outstanding performance that goes beyond the expected achievements. This is the revelation given to Habakkuk in the Bible. Habakkuk 2: 2 Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” This process is applied to organization by making the vision clear, communicating the vision in a clear strategy, so that the members of the organization may walk it out. The organization is passionate, driven and focused.
Excellent companies are intentional and aligned around developing excellent processes, raising leaders characterized by integrity who create a culture of virtue in their organizations. These virtuous, focused and passionate organizations will not only have individuals that feel valued and productive, but their teams will be able to be creative and adaptive in an ever-changing business environment, consistently exceeding their targets and expectations. Congruent companies are results-oriented, within a constructive, trusting, creative and caring environment.
This congruency is the result of a personal transformation of the individuals working in an organization. One’s personal journey to excellence finds its source in the Bible. We are called to be holy as God is holy, perfect and set apart. The two main commandments the Bible teaches us are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Our attitude of reverence for God and service of our fellow man is not a directive to produce mediocre results. The life of a Christian should be characterized by excellence as directed in the Bible in 2 Peter 1: 5 “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge.”
Our lives should not be mediocre but characterized by excellence as Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) who lived his whole life in Germany and in music. At the top of every composition J.S. Bach signed: “Soli Deo Gloria!” Only God be the Glory! This Christian made an impact on his community by using his skill with excellence in music to bring glory to God. The majority of Christian models in the Bible were not "professional Christians " but th ey were governors, tentmakers, tax collectors, military officers, doctors, teachers, homemakers, fishermen, diplomats, soldiers , a multitude of business men and women and a carpenter.
Dr. Jeffrey Moore is the dean of Southern Wesleyan University’s School of Business. He attended high school in Kandern, Germany; earned his B.A. in French at Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash.; and earned both his MBA and doctorate in business administration from the Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis in Nice, France. Dr. Moore pursues organizational development work with U.S. companies interested in growing domestically or internationally in Europe and Brazil.
Jamie Jordan currently serves as president of Stravicom, LLC, an organizational development consulting firm located in Charleston. He currently serves as a CBA (Counsel of Business Advisors) facilitator. Additionally, he is active on other boards in many leadership arenas and serves on Southern Wesleyan University School of Business Academic Advisory Board .