Optimal Leadership  by Wayne M. Angel, Ph.D.
The Optimal Organization: The 5 Critical Factors




The Quest - A Preface

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Optimal Leadership
  The Optimal Organization
    From Where the 5 Critical Factors?
      The 5 Critical Factors
      Understand Who Wants What
      Find a Solution
      Apply the Skills
      Establish Feedback
      Establish Foresight

      Other Possibilities

  Causes of Organization Failure
  Creating the Optimal Organization
  The Optimal Change Agent

The Theory of Society

Organization Simulations

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                    & Services

Utopian Dreams

The Android Project

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What critical things must an organization do to be extremely successful? Before presenting my answer, I wish to be very clear and precise about the question.  What generalized critical things must the members of an organization do so that the persons (perhaps themselves) they wish to please will judge that the members of the organization acting together have been extremely successful? Obviously there is reason to prefer the first and simpler version of the question.  However, I want to emphasize that organizations do nothing, want nothing, and cannot judge the value of anything.  Only people can perform these feats.  We personify organizations for linguistic convenience.  This is useful, but we must not allow it to lead to sloppy thinking. 

Every organization will have a specific list of things that it is suppose to be doing.  I am not, at this time, interested in what these specific items may be for a specific organization.  I do, however, want to categorize them into a few general critical factors.  The value of doing this is to aid us in seeing patterns that give us the mental tools with which to quickly understand the details that must be addressed for optimal achievement.  Why and how this works will be discussed in the section on Optimal Personal Achievement.  My list of five items comes from several years of analyzing organization behavior, building a theory of society, and testing it with generalized and organization specific simulations.  I will present a number of those simulations later.  Those five critical factors for optimal achievement are the capability to

  1. understand who wants what of the organization,
  2. find a solution to satisfy those wants,
  3. apply the skills necessary to create the solution,
  4. establish feedback on how well the wants are being satisfied, and
  5. establish foresight so that you anticipate the consequences of external factors and of your own actions. 

You might very well say, "Well that's obvious!" At least in retrospect it seems obvious to me.  But since these were not the first factors I tested, it must have at one time not seemed so obvious. 

Look at what is NOT in the list.  There is nothing in the list about process or methodology, nothing about quality, nothing about the self improving organization, nothing about employee morale, and nothing about management or leadership.  How can this be? It is sometimes true that one or more of these are a part of a specific solution for a specific set of wants, but even when this is true they are not the most important factors.  The pages that follow explain why this is so.  That explanation is broken into many parts.  The first part will describe these factors in more detail.  Later parts describe the human system dynamics theory and the simulations that led me to identify these as critical factors.

Let me state this a little differently.  Search through all of the productivity and achievement literature and do everything in that literature wrong, except the above 5 items and you will be phenomenally successful.  If you spend time on anything other than these 5 critical factors and as a result reduce the effort on these 5 factors your achievement will decline from optimal.

Letís consider each, one at a time.

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