Is Your Organization Disease-Free? » Mind Tools Blog

Is Your Organization Disease-Free?

October 18, 2013


When you’re sick with the flu, you have symptoms like fever, body aches, and a runny nose. If your illness isn’t treated, then you’re in for a pretty miserable couple of days!

Your organization might not have a fever, but it will show symptoms it’s sick – for example, high staff turnover, a focus on short-term profits at the expense of long-term success, and a constantly changing strategy.

Here’s an example: some organizations focus only on what they can see – things like sales figures, taxes, payroll, and expenses are considered top priorities. But important elements like customer satisfaction, engaged employees, and a healthy work environment are almost completely ignored, because, to top decision makers, these have little to do with the bottom line.

Dr W. Edwards Deming identified five common diseases that can cause problems in your organization, in the early 1980s. There are several strategies you can use to overcome each of these and succeed in the long term. Our new article on Deming’s Five Diseases of Management shows you how.

Question: What problems can you see that can jeopardize an organization’s long-term success? Join the discussion below.

5 thoughts on “Is Your Organization Disease-Free?

  1. Cat wrote:

    Maintaining balance between being task-oriented and people-oriented is important. After all – it’s the people who do the work and not work who does people.

    1. Dianna MT wrote:

      Hi Cat, great observation. Are you familiar with the Blake Mouton Managerial Grid? It looks at leadership behaviour along the lines of task oriented and people oriented behaviours and recommends finding the right balance between concern for production and concern for people. It’s an interesting approach that you can use to check how in-tune you are with your team as you strive to be transformational and inspirational in your leadership style.

  2. Cat wrote:

    I also think a lack of consistent purpose could happen when too many changes happen too often. Maybe management make too many changes too often to try and fix things that went wrong. Maybe good planning and thinking ahead about possible problems could prevent this? And allow management to focus on same purpose consistently?

  3. JL Welf wrote:

    Nice article

    1. Midgie Thompson wrote:

      Thanks for the feedback JL

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