Positive organizational change will only take place when people understand why so often organizations don’t work for the benefit of their rightful owners, who can be members or citizens in the case of governmental organizations. We need to understand what must change if organizations are to work to serve the people. Organizations are tools we use whenever we want to achieve a common purpose in association with others. As with all tools the more specifically designed the tool the more effective it will be. The people need to learn how to build effective organizations that work in their best interests.
So many of our organizations don’t work as they should. The failure of organizations to deliver on their purpose is endemic throughout all manner of organizations. Examples include: companies that are more focused on delivering rewards to their executives than on providing long-term benefits to their shareholders (this means that where pension funds are invested in such companies these funds don’t get the income that they should); governments that are run for the benefit of a political class and don’t deliver what citizens need; charities that serve to enhance the egos of those running them rather than the intended beneficiaries; universities that seem to be geared towards primarily serving the desires of their vice-chancellors; trade unions that support the political ambitions of their leaders rather than enhancing the value of the labour and knowledge of their members; cooperatives, building societies and the like, that provide more benefit to those running these enterprises than they do to the members that own them; and political parties where the wishes of major donors are regarded as more important than those expressed by individual members.
It’s not surprising that so many organizations don’t work as they should when we know that most people involved do not know the precise purpose of their organizations nor its true function. Neither do they have the systems in place that will ensure that their organization focuses upon delivering its real purpose. Ensuring that organizations focus on achieving their true purpose calls for them to be subject to effective independent oversight. Although most organizations of any size are subject to financial oversight (audit), the reliability of such auditing is questionable due to conflicts of interest that often arises where the big five auditing firms are reliant up the management of the organizations to provide lucrative consultancy contracts. The fact is that very few organizations are subject to truly adequate independent oversight of their purpose delivery and their level of focus upon their real function.