Thursday, April 28, 2011

John Mackey: Helping Your Organization Self-Actualize

Ideas Matter has a good posting on John Mackey: Helping Your Organization Self-Actualize. The purpose of the firm is most certainly to make a profit, but what goals do your employees have? If they are there just to make a paycheck, you are not getting the most you can out of your employees. A healthy firm, like a healthy organism or ecosystem, will grow and prosper. A more accurate metaphor than ecosystem, though, is garden. An ecosystem is a bottom-up self-organizing system -- which is not really how a firm is structured (though some of the principles of such systems can be used in larger firms). A garden, however, is organized by someone -- planted and weeded, watered and fertilized. Nevertheless, a good gardener knows when to leave something that pops up unexpectedly, and can recognize that a garden with perfect order is not nearly as beautiful as a garden with rough edges. There are many kinds of balance one must achieve in any kind of organization: and the balance between order and disorder is but one.

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