Prime Organizational Laws: Break Them At Your Peril
Updated: Feb 5
For more than forty years we have observed and experienced the dynamics at work in more than 110 public and private sector industries.
The following represent the foundational laws that have proven to have the most powerful positive impact on turning potential into performance, if abided by, and have the most devastating negative results when ignored. They are not new, nor should we take credit for their origination. They are though, as their title implies, undeniable truths that govern organizational dynamics.
Prime Organizational Law No. 1
“An organization, given time, takes on the characteristics of its leader.” If you have been leading a group of people for more than six months, and you don’t like how they are performing, look no further than your mirror.
Prime Organizational Law No. 2
“You get exactly what you measure… so you had better be careful about what you measure.”
Prime Organizational Law No. 3
“No one gets up in the morning and consciously says; ‘I want to screw things up today."
The overwhelming majority of people want to do a good job.”
Prime Organizational Law No. 4
“Everyone wants to be somebody. To be, or to be part of, something special.”
Prime Organizational Law No. 5
“It is impossible to look good in a bad system.” 98.9% of problems in an organization have their genesis in the policies and processes instituted by management.
Prime Organizational No. 6
“Most people are more than willing to change… but only when
they SELF-DISCOVER the answer to the ‘What’s In It For Me?' question.”
Prime Organizational No. 7
“With access to the same information most people will, in time, come to very similar conclusions.”
Prime Organizational Law No. 8
“In routine day-to-day operations, an organization’s leaders under-communicate
by a factor of ten… in times of change, that factor increases exponentially.” Change increases uncertainty. It is leadership's job to
Prime Organizational Law No. 9
“The solutions to an organization’s most important problems
already reside in the hearts and minds of its people.”
Prime Organizational Law No. 10
“Work expands to available time.” If you have a long time to do something, it will take you a long time to do it. If you have a short amount of time to do the exact same thing, it will take you a short time to do it.
Prime Organizational Law No. 11
“As a leader, your people will live up to, or down to, the expectations you have for them…
and the attitudes you have about them.”