Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Core Ideology and How to Envision the Future of an Organization

Previously, I always thought that core ideology was something that companies create or design so that they can use that as guidance to run their business. The article of "Building Your Company's Vision" by James Collin and Jerry Porras makes me realize that my assumption was not right. In fact, if the company tries to invent their ideology, it most likely to be fake. It will not show the real beliefs of that company. Therefore, the right thing to do that is by discovering and looking into the inside of the organization to understand what they genuinely believe, then use it as the underlying of decisions that are made in the organization.

Core ideology itself consists of two parts: core values and core purpose. Based on the article, core values are "the handful guiding principles by which a company navigates"; while core purpose is "an organization's most fundamental reason for being." From those definitions, we can see that both core values and purpose are something that is very high level and does not easily (or even should never) change over the organization lifetime.

Since its function is for guiding the organization, core values are more internal. It is not necessarily to be something that is fancy or acceptable from the outside of the organization. This concept is also something that people usually misunderstood. Sometimes people and also myself think that the company's core values are something that should satisfy the customer and environment needs or expects. Whereas, it is something that independent from external influence.

After a company has a core ideology, something that is not less important is an envisioned future. Not like core ideology, it is something that can change over the time. However, it is typically a long-term goal that needs about 10-30 years to achieved. This goal called BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals). As additional to BHAG, we also need a vivid description so that the goals can be more tangible and we know how to achieve that.

From the article, it mentioned that the target of BHAG could be qualitative or quantitative. However, since it is a goal, I believe that it is better if we have a qualitative statement and without any quantitative measurement. In spite of that, it needs to be clear regarding what the company wants to be, what is the market segment and what is the timeframe. From that, a company can build objectives that can measure the achievement of the organization to its goals. Besides that, we also need to initiate actionable strategies to achieve the goals. The concepts of goal, objective, and strategy I got from Product Management course in Heinz School this mini-semester and also from this article: However, it is my initial understanding. It may change after I learn more about it.

Collins, James C. & Porras, Jerry I. Building Your Company's Vision. HBR: 1996.

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