Are companies at the competitive edge problem free? Do any organizations work flawlessly? Not in the real world. How do the winners overcome their problems? What distinguishes them from other companies? How do they survive while others flounder or fall? Like other organizations, winning companies often reach for easy-answers and quick fixes. But if these short-cut responses miss their mark, winners keep searching for solid solutions. They delve more deeply into the situation, ultimately uncovering the root cause. Top performers distinguish themselves by the way they tackle organizational problems by using organizational diagnosis to make positive changes for the future of their business (Long Term Success through Deep Organizational Diagnosis, 2007). Data collection:
The purpose of a diagnosis is to identify problems facing the organization and to determine their causes so that management can plan solutions. The first step in diagnosing an organization is to determine what/where the problem is by using data collection. It is very important to acknowledge that there is a problem and it needs solving more on a long term basis in order to keep the future of the organization prospering. The collection of data should begin in areas in which management believes the problems exist. After the data is collected, leaders can more easily identify where the issues lie and begin to resolve them (Beer and Spector, 1993). Data collection can be done by doing a systematic analysis where McKinsey’s 7-S framework can be applied. The change agent at this point strategically analyzes and formulates diagnosis questions. The elements of the strategy are as follows with examples of typical questions that decision makers will need to answer in their quest for change (Business Diagnostic Questions - "Seven S" Model Framework, 2007). Strategy: the plan devised to maintain and build competitive advantage over the competition. •
What are the main strategies in moving this organization to being more successful? •
What are the key short-term goals to achieve these strategies? Structure: the way the organization is structured and who reports to whom. •
Describe the roles of the main departments.
What kinds of role/turf issues occur between departments? •
What kinds of communications issues occur between departments? •
What key things are done in the organization to help integrate various functions and departments that are interdependent? •
How does the structure help/hinder this organization in accomplishing its strategy? What is being done about this now? Systems: the daily activities and procedures that staff members engage in to get the job done. •
What are the 5 most important system problems that if solved or improved would significantly improve profitability or organizational effectiveness? Why? •
What are you doing about these issues now?
Style: the style of leadership adopted.
How are important decisions made in this organization?
How does top management communicate with key staff? How does it communicate with the labor force? •
What are the key expectations for how your key people and labor force should behave? •
How would you describe the organization's style of management? How would others differ in their assessment of that style?
Skills: the actual skills and competencies of the employees working for the company. •
What key knowledge and skills are needed to succeed in this business/organization? Why? •
How is that expected to change over time?
How would you assess the organization's current strengths and weaknesses against the needed knowledge and skills? •
What challenges does the organization face in strengthening or maintaining this match between knowledge and skills needed now and in the future? •
What is the organization doing about these issues now?
Staff: the employees and their general capabilities
Describe the strengths and weaknesses of the organization's key people. •...
References: Beer, M. & Spector, B. (1993, July/August). Organizational diagnosis: its role in organizational learning. Journal of Counseling and Development. 71(6) 642-650. Retrieved from the City University Student Website.
Cawsey, T., & Deszca, G. (2007). Toolkit for organizational change. Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Grossman, David. (2009). The Genesis of an Organizational Diagnosis: It’s All about Improving Performance. Retrieved on February 20, 2010 from: http://www.hrtools.com/insights/david_grossman/the_genesis_of_an_organizational_diagnosis_its_all_about_imp
Business Diagnostic Questions. (2007). Seven S Model Framwork. Retrieved on February
20, 2010 from: http://www.change-management.net/7smodel.htm
Change management - The systems and tools for managing change. (2006). Retrieved on February 20,2010 from: http://www.change-management.com/tutorial-change-process-detailed.htm
Long Term Success through Deep Organizational Diagnosis (2007). Retrieved on February 20, 2010 from: http://www.hrconsultant.com/aw/aw_ter_long_term_success.html#top
Scope & Change Control (2005). Retrieved on February 18, 2010 from: http://www.epmbook.com/scope.htm
Vision and the Management of Change. (2008). Retrieved on February 18, 2010 from: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/ndu/strat-ldr-dm/pt4ch19.html
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