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Guiding Process Decision Orientation

The process of organising (=organisation) can and must, like all systems, orientate itself to ensuring its survival when making decisions. The organisation gains the information either from the internal environment (such as product and optimisation ideas from employees) or from the external environment (such as customers’ wishes, market opportunities, benchmarks). The guiding question is: “Does the decision focus on phenomena in the external environment or the internal environment of the organisation?”

The advantage of gaining information from the external environment lies in referring to the market and to customer orientation. In many organisational theories this is regarded as a quality mark and the indicator of a ‘good’ organisation. This is one-sided and therefore wrong. Here too, it is applicable that the orientation towards the internal environment, such as technical knowledge, development competence, patentable products etc., are an option of equal value and it is all about the organisation being able to decide which competences fit with which focus, at which point in time, and with which markets. If you only ask what the customers want, you will miss out on innovation which they cannot imagine. If you only ask what is technically fashionable, you will make products which the customer finds too expensive or too complicated. Everybody knows such examples.

Often organisations (or entire market sectors) cultivate one-sidedness (e.g. an instruction manual of 250 pages). In such cases it is particularly important and difficult (for consultants as well as management), to keep the other pole in play during decision-making processes.