Archives for posts with tag: Human Business Design


Generally, I record my book reviews on Goodreads but this book by Tony Schwartz was so close to the core mission of BatesHook that I wanted to share it with a wier audience.

The basic premise of the book is: “The furious activity to accomplish more with less exacts a series of silent costs: less capacity for focused attention, less time for any given task, and less opportunity to think reflectively and long term.”

Below are a few of the big ideas that resonated with me:

” Rather than trying to get more out of people, organizations are better served by investing more in them and meeting their multidimensional needs in order to fuel greater engagement and more sustainable high performance.”

“We think of leaders as “chief energy officers.” The core challenge for leaders is to recruit, mobilize, inspire, focus, and regularly refuel the energy of those they lead.”

“Our core emotional need is to feel secure – to be valued and appreciated. The more we feel our value is at risk, the more energy we spend defending it and the less energy we have available to create value.”

“When we default reactively to telling negative stories, we almost invariably assign ourselves the role of victim. It feels better not to blame ourselves for disappointments, but the victim role undermines our power to influence our circumstances. The alternative is to intentionally look for where our responsibility lies in any given situation – and then take remedial action on any part of it that we’re in a position to influence.”

“The key capacities of the right hemisphere – creative and big-picture thinking, openness to learning, and empathy – are a largely untapped source of competitive advantage, both for individuals and for organizations.”

“Deeply held values define the person you aspire to be. They’re what we’re rooted in and what we stand for – an internal compass that helps us navigate the storms and the choices we all inevitably face.”

“There’s a deep disconnect between what many companies say they stand for and what they actually do. This disconnect takes a toll on employee engagement, on productivity, and ultimately on organizational success.”

“A new way of working ultimately requires an evolutionary shift in the center of gravity of our lives – from “me” to “us”.

This is a mature book, deeply rooted in research and real-life examples. It’s for anyone that feels that we’re in the middle of a transformative revolution and doesn’t have an internal blueprint how to work and live in/with this new reality. The content is not limited to workplace issues, it deals with the much bigger issue of becoming a better person and leading a fulfilling life.

Highly recommended.


Unless you lived on the moon, you realize the global economy is struggling because most corporations are not constructed to produce any real value. They are designed to maximize shareholder value while stakeholders are getting squeezed to improve the bottom line and introduce as many efficiencies as possible. Add to that corporate welfare, Fed and Treasury policies, regulations (or lack thereof) and you end up with a toxic mess of an ongoing banking crisis, mind-numbing landscapes of mini malls, toxicity in assets, the environment and the overall capitalistic world we are living in. And, while people are crowding the bargain bins, corporations continue to develop cheaper ways to satisfy the need for the bargain. Interestingly, when you produce a mediocre product/service (create thin value, as Umair Haque calls it), the price is all what matters. When you create real value/thick value, price becomes a tertiary consideration. Call it awesomeness, call it being amazing, call it being a linchpin.

With a few, rare exceptions, advertising has focused on creating thin value. Rather than inspiring people with marketing for products that add value, most of marketing/advertising is focused on brainwashing people into buying stuff that makes no difference. Just another item I can use and throw away/forget about effortlessly without considering the implications for the rest of the world. (Labor Conditions, Environment, Export/Import Structures)

Now, let’s look at the advertising/marketing industry. It’s not a dying industry but an industry in deep trouble. We are not considered partners, we’re just another vendor that sells questionable value. Media Buying has become a commodity, media planning to follow soon. The people we market to are busy tuning us out because they don’t feel marketing creates any real value. While we continue to communicate to people as they were still consumers, they are busy producing, communicating and building networks. We have commoditized our industry to death, starting to hop on a dangerous death spiral. Just like the whole economic system.

Advertising is just one pillar of the economic system we’re living in. Advertising can’t change the world or make it a better place. But, as part of a new economic system, advertising can be an inspiration, an artistic expression of the paradigm change. As an industry, we need to focus on the drastic changes the economic system is going through. We can safely say, the end of creating slim/thin value for profit is fast approaching. No matter how good your strategies/tactics/ideas are, unless you create real value for society with your products and services, you will fail in the long run.

My headline “Why advertising professionals need to be economic professionals” didn’t imply you need to watch Bloomberg all day, read each article in the WSJ or get a degree in economics. Most of what you read or see there is just an expression of times almost passed. All of us need to understand that our whole economic system is transforming and changing into something much more substantial, sustainable and human. Advertising is just another expression of this change. Please work, create, add value accordingly.


When I was a kid, I wanted to be a librarian.

I was in love with reading, often carrying up to 10 books home on Friday afternoon, done with nine of them by Saturday evening. Having the chance to read all these wondrous books, introducing others to the mysterious world of fairy tales, thrillers and history seemed to be the best job in the world.

Well, here I am, not having considered being a librarian for more than 30 years and as much removed from the library world as anybody can be.

Given the abysmal state of libraries in the US, this seems to be a good deal to me personally. But, it left me with the question to ponder: Where are the passionate librarians coming from? Where are the hard-working firemen coming from? From where do we recruit the best nurses we will all need one day?

We live in a world where we are more focused on ourselves than focusing on the community we live in, where money has a higher value than what real value someone added to the world. And that world has turned important professions like being a nurse or a teacher into jobs for people that weren’t able to get that special degree or didn’t have the chance to get a higher education. Just experience the amazing care hospice nurses take of dying people or the passion good teachers show each and every day towards their pupils, and putting these amazing people down as not good enough to get a “real good job” will make you feel ashamed of your warped opinion.

In the holiday season of giving back, the advertising industry should consider transforming the image of these jobs that make our community work and our world worth living in. Let’s face it, the majority of us in the marketing world earn much more than any librarian or nurse, and we have contributed less to society than they do each and every day. When you are in trouble, would you turn to your fellow Creative Director or your police man for help? It’s time for us to help them.

Ultimately, we need to take a hard look at the value of work. Why do we consider blue-collar work less valuable than white-collar work? Should an investment banker be 100x times more worth than a teacher? The value we attach to specific kinds of work determine what kind of society we are and want to be. Time for a reset?


Many businesses try to compete with price. Or compete with features. Or dependability. Convenience.

The problem is, most of these competitive advantages become commodities over time. Leading to a price (feature – you name it) race down to the bottom. Almost everything will become a commodity in the end. With the exception of being human.

Being human can’t be scaled (meaning: it can’t be bought), it can’t be institutionalized ( we immediately feel the difference between a disneyfied and a real human interaction) and your competitors can’t “out-human” you.

As a small coffee shop you can’t win against Starbucks on product reliability, supplier margins or advertising budget. Your competitive advantage is being human. It’s the hug my daughter gets every Sunday morning from her favorite barista. It’s them knowing our order in advance and having it almost ready when we walk into the door. It’s the real smile they put on their customers faces.

There are many customers that desire the reliability and efficiency of Starbucks. It takes a lot to keep this machine alive: loyalty cards, free WiFi, advertising dollars, etc. Starbucks has to invest constantly to attract the same audience over and over again. Being human doesn’t require that. Doing something special for a customer, won’t ever be forgotten. How do you value a hug? How do you value a smile? How do you value a human connection?

Being human is the most underrated competitive advantage


You hear and read it everywhere: Social Media is overhyped. Social Media experts will soon be applying for jobs at Burger King. In the end, the bubble will burst and Social Media will be Second Life 2. Or Zune 3.

Even in the Social Media echo chamber, we can feel the skepticism and defeatism when discussing the future of Social Media. The big agencies and brand will take over and ruin everything. Again. (Cue the Kleenex box.) Brands don’t get it. (Fist against the wall.) Money ruins everything. (Head against the wall.)

And we thought Social Media would change the world.

Let me burst the first bubble: Social Media won’t change the world. Stop drinking that Kool-Aid, it’s not good for you. Technology has changed everything: Transforming people from consumers to producers. Changed human behavior. Redefining human relationships. Transforming how we live. Transforming companies how they do business. Transforming institutions. Changing everything.

Social Media is just one expression of that change. Nothing else. It’s more than another channel to broadcast your messages. But it’s not the messiah that will miraculously change the world.

We wanted to change the world and all we got was Lolcats.

The essence of human beings didn’t change because we have new technologies. Silliness is just another expression of human creativity. But we see people helping each other by using these technologies. On a small scale. On a big scale. I can send my kid every night a good night story while 7,000 miles away and share a video of my experiences in Tokyo with my wife, feeling a connection to my girls. I can meet the woman of my dreams online. I can have meaningful discussions with people all over the world without ever meeting them. Or finally meeting them. And that’s the just bottom of the first inning of a long game. I would argue, this is the bottom of the first inning of a Best of 7 World Series. Soon, you’ll be able to own your own data, share it on your own terms, issue personal RFP’s and revolutionize everything: healthcare, politics, marketing, enterprises – you name it. And that might be bottom of the second inning. Who knows what will happen in Game 7, bottom of the 9th?

So, let’s burst the bubble of the Social bubble.

If you define social as Facebook pages, Twitter feeds or a fancy application: That bubble will burst. I totally agree with you. And you should be cheering for it. Most of these initiatives are just applying the old broadcast strategies, tactics and metrics to a new way of interacting with people.

Social isn’t a beauty contest, a chase to add your follower counts or another popularity contest. These are the LolCats of social. What social is really about is trust, connection and community. Social is about rewiring human beings, communities, societies, business and the world.

So stop whining, stop being afraid of the Twitter/Facebook bubble to burst. Just keep on moving foward. We’ve barely begun.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” – Clavin Coolidge


I went to the Yanaka Cemetery this morning to explore the resting place of the last shogun. The cemetery is in the middle of a lovely neighborhood, almost untouched by World War II. While wandering around I discovered this.


A playground in the middle of a cemetery. I had look twice to believe my eyes: Indeed, a playground smack-dab in the middle of a cemetery. I don’t know the Japanese culture well enough to understand the reason behind this placement but it hit me immediately: What a great idea. What a brilliant way to connect life and death. What an easy way to make your pilgrimage to visit your dead loved ones an enjoyable experience for your kids. What an innovative way to make grieving part of our human experience, not something we want to box up nicely and put away.

I never thought of it because we’re all slaves of accepted norms

My parents died 2 years ago and I’ve visited their graves a few times together with my daughter. I tend to just spend a few minutes at the cemetery since there’s nothing to do for my daughter, and I want her life to be filled with unicorns not memories of dead people. The cemetery my parents found their resting place in is a very solemn place. You barely want to breathe. I often wished cemeteries could be a celebration of lives lived well. But I never thought of reserving a place inside the cemetery for a playground. Somebody else did. Why?

At the minimum, the cultural norms in Japan might be different and death might be more accepted than in the Western culture where we tend to put grieving into a ghetto. At best, the people who came up with this idea thought outside of accepted norms. Outside of the system that tells us what to think. How things should be. These norms turn people into conforming machines. These norms turn companies into lifeless corporations.

As I wrote before, we’re in the middle of a revolution. It’s the opportunity of our lifetime. To make this world a better place, we need to fight the urge to stay within accepted norms.

The egg and the system

Haruki Murakami gave an inspiring speech last year where he spoke about our constant struggle as fragile beings to confront the wall aka the system:

“Each of us is, more or less, an egg. Each of us is a unique, irreplaceable soul enclosed in a fragile shell. This is true of me, and it is true of each of you. And each of us, to a greater or lesser degree, is confronting a high, solid wall. The wall has a name: It is The System. The System is supposed to protect us, but sometimes it takes on a life of its own, and then it begins to kill us and cause us to kill others – coldly, efficiently, systematically.” (…)

“We are all human beings, individuals transcending nationality and race and religion, fragile eggs faced with a solid wall called The System. To all appearances, we have no hope of winning. The wall is too high, too strong – and too cold. If we have any hope of victory at all, it will have to come from our believing in the utter uniqueness and irreplaceability of our own and others’ souls and from the warmth we gain by joining souls together.

Take a moment to think about this. Each of us possesses a tangible, living soul. The System has no such thing. We must not allow The System to exploit us. We must not allow The System to take on a life of its own. The System did not make us: We made The System.”

We created all these accepted norms. We all did. Who says we can’t change them constantly to live a more human, loving and connected life? All these social technologies can help us humanize the marketplace, the interactions between people brands, work and life. Let’s not waste that opportunity by staying within accepted norms.


Image: Courtesy of Coralie Bickford-Smith

I took this journey of 13 blog posts to better define the model of Human Business Design. It was necessary to walk through the ideas of systemic thinking, introduce various systems, introduce the idea of interactive management, planning for the apocalypse, pie in the sky models, gap and assets, how to develop a community enterprise based on market principles, design a multidimensional organization, stay away from quick fixes and develop leadership for organizational evolution.

The model of Human Business Design is based on above foundation and rooted in the belief that all human interactions inside and outside of your organization matter now. They way human beings are motivated to connect and realize value has fundamentally changed. We’re seeing a fundamental reset in the nature of work due to drastic changes all of us are experiencing in how people communicate, coordinate and collaborate. And the Enterprise 2.0 “movement” tries to capture this changed behavior by applying Web 2.0 principles to the “command-and-control” needs of the enterprise. In addition, we see a mere obsession with tools for tools sake without much understanding of the socio-business context. The old problem of throwing software solutions at organizational problems is just being re-invented in the social networking arena.

Instead, we need to focus our attention on the shifting nature of work itself and how enterprises need to evolve in a rapidly changing world, Organizations need to dig deeper, define new principles around which work itself can be reworked. Forward thinking companies will develop their own constitution, a bill of rights and a social contract for all stakeholders to have a common purpose everybody involved can rally around. In short: enterprises need to socialize their business.

Technology is the critical enable to implement Human Business Design within your organization but technology is not a sufficient agent for change. We have to focus our work on humans, the limitations of extrinsic motivators (external reward or punishment) and the need for intrinsic motivators (finding meaning in work):

– Developing a foundation of trust
– Motivating and educating the stakeholders to become more active participants
– Providing access to stakeholder knowledge and skills
– Facilitating individual freedom and control
– Encouraging emotional/aspirational co-creativity and participation.

    Successful evolution of the organization to a Human Business Design Enterprise requires them to find the appropriate locus of learning, between both market and non-market sources of ideas and knowledge. Most established firms are still trying to access these autonomous idea pools using industrial age logic and rational economic arguments, and, in most cases, tired and outdated marketing efforts where the emphasis is on surface-level tinkering of the customer engagement model, not a complete realignment and reorientation.

    Enterprises have to understand that each business, with money and investment in structures, is no more than its people within and its people outside (all stakeholders). Enterprises need to rely more on people and bridge their left-brain thinking demands with the desires of people to focus more on their right-brain capabilities.

    More than 10 years ago, the Cluetrain Manifesto exclaimed “Business is fundamentally human”. We need to stop treating stakeholders as “resources” and regard each stakeholders as clients with their own interests, desires and drivers.

    If you want to learn more about Human Business Design and how we can help you implementing these principles into your organization, feel free to contact me at

    And, all previous installments for this series, can be found here:

    Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11Part 12


    Development is not something that is done to an individual or group; it is something they do to themselves. It is an increase in the ability and desire to satisfy one’s needs and legitimate desires and those of others. It is a matter of learning, not earning. No one can learn for another, but one can encourage and facilitate the learning of another. Development is not a matter of how much one has, but how much one can do with whatever one has and what resources can create out of what is available.

    Organizational development requires leadership, which is primarily an aesthetic activity. One who leads development must inspire pursuit of a vision in whose production the leader had a hand. A vision is a picture of a state more desirable than the one that the organization currently is in. Leadership must also faciliate development of the strategy, tactics, and operations by whose means the vision can be pursued. Since the vision is often one of an ideal that can never be attained, though it may be approached continuously, leadership must see to it that the pursuit itself is satisfying, that it is fun as well as meaningful and valuable. Effective pursuit of an ideal requires the leader to extract the best possible effort from those who follow. In a corporation, this requires providing nothing less than a very high quality of work life.

    Part of leadership is an appropriate ethical-moral judgement process. The ideal process would encourage leaders to make decisions only by consensus of all stakeholders. And the final decision should never deprive another of the ability or opportunity to develop unless the one affected by the decision would otherwise deprive others of this ability or opportunity.

    However, the number of stakeholders of some corporate decisions runs into the millions, and there is just no way of involving all of them in every decision that affects them. For that reason, multi-national enterprises have to use representatives of various stakeholder groups. In a perfect world, any organization would designate individuals who will be responsible for identifying and evaluating the effects, if any, of current decisions on future generations’ choices and the ability and desire to make them.

    A vision that involves a radical change in the way an organization is conceptualized is a transforming vision. One who leads the pursuit of such a vision is a transformational leader. Transformations are primarily qualitative, rather than quantitative, and are large discontinuities, not merely reform or incremental improvements.

    The transformation to systemic thinking has brought with it a growing awareness of the fact that the effectiveness with which any of our daily activities (work, play, learning, inspiration) can be carried out depends on the extent to which they are integrated. Making it very apparent that a transformational leader must be able to integrate the various aspects of life in order to effectively pursue development. The transformational leader is one who can create an organization that reunifies life, who integrates work, play, learning, and inspiration.

    The transformation of an enterprise from one conceptualized as an animate system to a social system is only one kind of transformation that is possible. However, in our current environment – one characterized by an increasing rate of change; increasing complexity; and an increasing rate of production of understanding, knowledge, and information – there is no other type of transformation that can bring about the necessary focus on employees, customers, and the other corporate stakeholders. A corporation that continues to focus more on shareholder value and less on stakeholders will ultimately fail.

    In our last installment of the “Transform your business” series, we’ll talk about Human Business Design.

    Previous installations can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11.


    There are no simple solutions to complex problems. In an enterprise, problems are interdependent; their solutions should be, too. Interdependent problems are systems of problems and their solutions must form a system. A system of solutions is a plan and all plans are complicated, almost never simple.

    The reason why most management cure-alls and quick fixes fail is their neglect of the whole system and just focusing on one part of the system. These fixes part the whole system, treating it as an aggregation of independent parts. These manipulations typically fail because the performance of a system is not the equal to the sum of the performances of its essential parts taken separately, but the products of their interactions. For that reason, improvement of the essential parts of a system taken separately often does not improve and may reduce the performance of the whole. Another common deficiency is the failure of some quick fixes to take into account a social system’s developmental responsibilities to its stakeholders and the larger systems of which it is a part.

    Let’s have a closer look at some of these fixes.


    Downsizing fails more often than it succeeds. Within a short period of time after is implementation, costs tend to rise and serious morale problems usually emerge. Since many enterprise focus on shareholder value, the enthusiastic response of stock analysts often convinces the C-suite that they have made the right decision. I would argue, downsizing treats symptoms not the disease, thereby attacking effects, not causes. How come enterprises can lay off more than 10,000 employees and never realized in the months before the actual event that they employed more people than they need?

    Enterprises are social organizations that are responsible for creating productive employment. Downsizing is a clear failure of living up to that promise. The principal source of excess personnel are bureaucratic monopolies within the firm. There are no economic indicators of the performance of bureaucratic monopolies. Neither the value of of their outputs nor their costs are generally known. Because their importance is judged by the size of their monopolies, they tend to grow as much as the subsidizer will allow. When it becomes apparent that a company is not as effective financially and competitively as it should be and is overemploying, downsizing is usually the first way out. But once it takes place, the bureaucratic monopolies continue to make work out of fear and grow as much as the system permits. And the vicious cycle continues.

    And internal market economy is the most effective way is the most effective way of preventing or eliminating internal bureaucracies. An internal unit that has to compete against external resources must stay lean; it must eliminate or minimize excess personnel if it is to keep costs down to compete effectively.

    Total Quality Management/Six Sigma

    “Quality” as applied to products or services has come to be accepted as meaning “meeting or exceeding the expectations of customers.” “Total” quality should apply to all those who are affected by what an organization does: all its stakeholders. The objective of any system needs to focus on a quality organization, not only on quality products and services.

    Enterprises can gain huge competitive advantages by focusing more on quality of work life and less on quality of products or services. Most employees/stakeholders regard Total Quality Management and Six Sigma as another path to exploit them, squeezing more out of them. On the other hand, when organizations strive to to improve the quality of work life, stakeholders will find new and innovative ways showing their appreciation. Quantity and quality of output will improve, even more when they are partners in quality improvement programs. Implementing quality improvement programs should be done from the bottom up, not directed by executives. It empowers all stakeholders and provides a feeling of ownership.

    The biggest problem with Total Quality Management and Six Sigma is the failure to distinguish between efficiency and effectiveness. Meaning, it does not incorporate ethical or aesthetic evaluations of the products and services whose quality it attempts to improve .

    Last but not least, continuous improvement involves relatively small incremental changes made close together in time. This precludes creative quantum leaps. Creative acts produce discontinuities, qualitative changes. Creative but discontinuous improvements are usually worth much more than a string of small but continuous improvements. More often than not, creativity is often discouraged in organizations because it so frequently is destabilizing and disruptive. Creative discontinuities are required to take the lead; continuous improvement is at best a way of getting closer to the leader. One cannot pass a leader by imitation.

    In our next installment, we’ll talk about leadership and how to transform it.

    Previous installations can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10.

    tumblr_ky7r79jz2W1qzhdtio1_500Image: Courtesy of

    Enterprises change at a breathtaking pace, reorganizing too often. Wasting a lot of time, energy, money and morale in the process. in the middle of a market tornado, enterprises try to reach a “stable state”. We would argue, enterprises should strive to reach a dynamic state. A state where adaption doesn’t equal reorganization. Such an organizational design is already being utilized.

    The Multidimensional (MD) Design

    The Multidimensional Design was originally developed at Dow Corning. It eliminates the need to reorganize when faced with a significant internal or external change.

    The need to organize comes from the need to divide labor. To organize is to divide labor among different individuals or groups and to coordinate their activities in such a ways as to obtain a desired output. The more divided the labor, the more coordination is required. There are only three ways of dividing labor, meaning only three types of organizational unit:

    a)    Functionally defined units (Purchasing, R&D, Industrial Relations, etc.)

    b)   Product- or service-oriented output units (the magazines of a publishing company, the coffee of Starbucks)

    c)    Market- or user-defined units (units defined by the geographic areas they sell in)

    Most enterprises have all three types of units. Their importance is often ordered in the structure of most organizations. If product uniqueness is most important, then product-defined units dominate. If costs are the primary concern, functionally defined units rise to the top. All reorganizations involve changing the relative importance of the three criteria used in dividing labor, that is, changing the organizational levels at which units of the three types appear.

    If units of all three types are established at a particular level of an organization, as their relative importance changes all that is required at that level is a reallocation of resources among them. Their reorganization is not required. Therefore, if the three types of unit are established at every level of an organization, the need to reorganize at any time is completely eliminated. Units of any of the three types can be added or subtracted without requiring reorganization; the organization’s structure remains the same.

    Conventional representations of organizational structures do not indicate the interactions of the units. Three-dimensional representation of an organization makes it possible to show explicitly the interactions that should or do take place between units.

    Product- or Service-Define Output Units

    In a multidimensional organization, product- and service-defined (output) units consists of a management and only a small supporting staff, but no other personnel, and no facilities other than what is required to house this small staff of people. They are responsible for providing or arranging for all the activities required to make their products and services available to customers. These units obtain income from sale of their products and services. If they require more capital than they generate or accumulate, they can apply for it from a higher level of the organization. They are expected to treat such funds as loans or investments. They must pay for their use, one way or another.

    Function-Defined Input Units

    Units whose outputs are consumed primarily by other internal units are functionally defined , or input units. Functional units are often divided into two types, one defined as “operations” and the other as “service”. Operation units are ones that have a direct effect on the output (operations) of the organization, for example, manufacturing, maintenance, and purchasing. Service units have no such effect; they affect the nonoperational behavior of other units; they affect the nonoperational behavior of other units. Functional units are free to both purchase whatever they need and to sell whatever they produce or provide, either internally or externally. Their purchasing and selling decisions are subject to intervention from above and to compensation for such intervention when appropriate. They receive the income that their sales generate, and they pay the cost of whatever they purchase.

    Market- or User-Defined Units

    Market units – units that are defined by the users by the users they serve – have two complementary functions. First, they sell the outputs of any other unit in the organization that wants to use their services, as well as selling outputs externally. Second, market units also serve as advocates of the users in the markets for which they are responsible. They should not only represent the company in the market, but also the market in the company.

    Market units evaluate the activities and outputs of other internal units from the point of view of potential and actual users of the organization’s outputs, who are outside of the organization and are affected by these outputs. For that reason, market units operate as consultants to the executive office and other unit heads.

    Performance measures

    A uniform, explicit, and operationally unambiguous measure of performance – which incorporates some function of the amount of profit generated, for example, return on capital employed – can be applied to units at every level, including the executive office. This makes possible comparison of the performances of units at all levels and discourages make-work and bureaucracy. However, profit is by no means the only important performance characteristic. Recall that in socially-systematically conceived organization, development of the organization, its stakeholders, and its containing system are its overriding objectives. Although profit is necessary for corporate development, it is not sufficient.

    In our next installation, we discuss a plan being a system of solutions.

    Previous installations can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7, Part 8, Part 9.