What is an organization?

For a business to consistently sell products and/or services for a profit, it needs a solid organization. An organization includes everything that needs to be done to accomplish the work of the business. The work of an organization includes such things as tasks, functions, processes, systems, time and space.

The three areas that stand out in almost all organizations is the actual work, typically segmented by function and tasks, the space where the work happens, and the time needed to complete the work. In general, if you get those areas right, your organization will produce good results. It’s also important to understand how the different components of an organization relate to each other. There is a natural order in a business. For example, Amazon can’t fulfill an order unless someone makes a purchase.

Organization isn’t about who does the work, but how that work gets done. For example, I love Powell’s bookstore in Portland, Oregon. I can spend hours there wandering through the stacks looking for a few gems. But for my wife, it’s overwhelming. She can’t imagine plowing through hundreds of thousands of titles looking for what she wants.

Recently she went with me because she wanted to buy some of the Outlander series. Instead of searching all over the store she just asked a clerk at the information desk where she could find them. He said they were in the Romance section and when she got there she found that the section was in a specific colored room, and the aisles were lettered and the books were stacked alphabetically. She was able to find the books right away. The moral of the story is that good organization turned a potentially horrible shopping experience into a very pleasant one.

It takes time and effort to develop a good organization. However, your entire business will function more smoothly if you commit to doing it.

–Barney
President, Business 360 Northwest


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