Organizational Incompetence

Iron Mountain Burning RecordsCompanies or non-profits are founded because they provide a public service (a good) of some kind or another. A writing center supports writers. A cancer research center works to cure cancer. A secure storage company stores valuable records. The enterprise is founded to meet these needs. The need (customers) in a sense own the company in that their demand of the company’s services or products dictate the viability of the company.

However, the enterprise is also interested in “owning” itself and so begins to defend its resources from external draws on its resources. When this identification happens for the enterprise, customers are no longer seen as customers but as parasites feeding on the organization’s resources. The enterprise begins to starve the parasites (not realizing it is more of a symbiotic-deal) and they start to fall off. Perhaps the enterprise realizes it actually needs the parasites, but from then on the question is no longer about providing service but doing as little as possible for the blood sucking bastards.

Thus, you end up with an off-site secure record facility becoming the place most likely to thoroughly burn and destroy all of your records. In fact if you set out to destroy your valuable documents, there wouldn’t be a better place. If you wanted to discourage writers, found a writing center. In fact, if there is anything you want to accomplish, find a way of making money to the opposite thing, and the resulting business will accomplish your ends.

A dialectic is established on the vector of a perceived value: record storage or the support of writers. Similarly, value travels from the customers to the company or back from the company to the customer. In order, to defend itself the enterprise must actively work to tilt the transaction in its favor. Thus, it might cut corners in areas that are normally invisible in the transaction. They might use slave (or intern) labor or not building any kind of tested and effective fire safety system. The end result is that the company ends up inadvertently working against the public good for which it was originally founded.

(I recall now that someone else wrote about this, but I can’t recall where I read it.)

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