How Not To Run An Organization – From Mission to Mausoleum

by Patrick Liew on September 25, 2017

Most organizations start with a Man and his vision to change the world around him.

This man then crafts a Mission to enroll likeminded people to help fulfill the shared mission.

As the team grows, the passion, commitment to, and perseverance for the Mission become diluted.

Some team members become distracted.

They are more engrossed with developing bureaucratic structures, systems, processes and procedures.

The organization now becomes a Machine that aims to fulfill the Mission.

At the same time, it tries to satisfy different personal and group agendas, aims, inclinations and outcomes.

The work gets done but the original fire is slowly being extinguished.

The initial momentum is slowing down.

Soon, like many organizations, it becomes a Monument.

It may be large, profitable and even growing, but somehow the X factor is gone.

There is no more oomph factor in the organization.

People go to the office and say, “It’s just another job.”

Many of the leaders and people in the organization just go through the motions in the workplace.

Slowly but surely, they start to create unnecessary paperwork and rigid procedures to protect their jobs.

They start to be involved with politicking and fight for their turfs.

Meanwhile, the customers’ needs are not properly met.

Competitors start to overtake them.

Eventually, it becomes like a Mausoleum, with people who are psychologically dead but simply not buried.

The organization becomes a case study of what not to do as an organization.

People who know them and know of them begin to shake their heads.

They will say some of the saddest words that can come from a mouth, pen or keyboard:

“How it might have been…”


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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