The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

The primary task

The easy take on a primary task of an organization is described through a triangle naming a what, whom, and how.

The ‘what’ is there to describe the outputs and targets. The ‘who’ will name the person executing it or the person responsible for the execution. The ‘how’ is there to define the method and the protocol of the execution.

All together they describe a transformation process of an input to an output. However, these three can easily generate a task that is executed with only compliance or following in mind.

Something is missing there. The ‘why’. The purpose of the organization or the system.

There are many ways to describe the purpose, and many have tried to write it down as a starting point. However, it may just as well be a way of understanding why an organization exists, that is what difference it makes to whom. Purpose, seen from that perspective, will emerge and becomes visible through the work an organization does.

Purpose is not fixed. Whenever the context changes it requires the organization to adapt to it as it is the context’s needs an organization is serving in the here-and-now. Such purpose has to be linked to society and has to follow the changing meaning, needs, and values of the context it is trying to succeed in.

Thus, while purpose can emerge it still has to be conscious and at the heart of the task. That’s also how people will connect to it. Those executing it just as much as those receiving it.


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