The True Picture of an Organization

The True Picture of an Organization

By Geary Rummler and Alan Brache

Most change efforts produce disappointing results and unintended consequences because they stem from a fundamentally flawed view of the organization. Traditional thinking is reflected in the typical organization chart, which graphically describes the functions of the business and the vertical reporting relationships.

What’s wrong with that picture? It doesn’t show customers or how products are developed, produced, or delivered. It doesn’t provide any sense of the work flow and tells nothing of what the business does, who it does it for, or how it is done. The true picture of an organization:

  • Shows how resources are converted into products and services and value is created for shareholders
  • Reflects the reality of competition in the marketplace
  • Takes into account influences from the larger environment and makes vivid the dynamic interplay of all these elements

A true picture reveals the organization for what it is, an adaptive system.

Your organization behaves as a system. The Rummler-Brache Group can teach you how to manage it as a system.

Your success depends on the effectiveness and speed with which your organization adapts to changes in the external environment—customers’ needs, competitors’ actions, and economic fluctuations, as well as changes in internal operations—rising costs, inefficiencies, and product development opportunities.