Many organizations or rather most organizations start as a burning desire of one or more entrepreneurs. The desire is so strong that it consumes the entire mind of the entrepreneur and it becomes the driving force of life and a passion. It is constantly on the mind and almost the entrepreneur is obsessed with the concept and puts in everything to ensure it becomes a reality. The entrepreneur dreams of how the organization will work, how the products and services are relevant to the consumer and how things should be in his organization. They dream. This dream is the root of the organizational design. They define in their minds how the customers will perceive them and value their services or products. They begin to believe that their organization is the best and most differentiated organizations in the world. And also finally that consumers would queue-up at the doors. Finally they begin defining the DNA of the organization in their mind and it becomes a critical component in business expansion when it happens later and when they begin to have employees. This definition happens either as a conscious effort or an unconscious effort. And this lays the foundation stone for the organization as long as it exists unless there are some dramatic changes that are deliberately done during the life cycle of the organization. Most organizations continue to thrive because of their ability to learn and survive in difficult times and many organizations die and wither during difficult times.
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Though corporate DNA has been a recent concept and the earlier organizations have woken up late to understand why they keep doing things the way they do it, the newer organizations have the advantage of being able to define the DNA from their inception. This kind of gives them an advantage to be able to define the way they want to do things.
Businesses like the Aqua Diving Inc. can never be individual driven and need to have a team in place right from the word “go!” Hence it is important for the organization to have its DNA, Mission, Values defined so that the organization is well on rails and speeds towards the Vision daily in its operations. Aqua Diving Inc. being an organization that is oriented towards recreation and learning – a leisure experience it is very important for them to define their DNA. There are lot of lessons that can be learnt from other organizations. Possibly one of the organizations that Aqua Diving Inc. can learn from is the world’s most admired entertainment company – the Disney! Disney is one of the benchmark organizations for Aqua Diving Inc. to learn from. There are other organizations like the FedEx to learn about logistics and the Hilton’s to learn about service from. Well, all this goes on to define the corporate DNA. But what is Corporate DNA?
Just as the DNA of an organism defines a variety of its characteristics, the corporate DNA also defines the way an organization behaves. Organizational DNA is very often confused for organizational culture. But these are dramatically different. Organizational culture is the way the organization does things in the current situation. This includes the variety of “do’s” and “Don’ts” that exist in an organization or the “way we do it around here!" The most interesting thing is that people would have even forgotten the “why” of it! This is akin to the famous Ape Story. The organizational culture is a very intangible concept and is indicated only in the way people affiliated with an organization – read employees – behave and the behavioural patterns, the assumptions, beliefs, thinking patterns and the choices that are made by them in a variety of situations.
Figure: The Ape "Culture" Experiment
In contrast to the culture DNA is something that far deeper and far reaching. It is the genetic root and is the very cause or the root of all behaviours in the organization. It is the historical reason why things are done in a specific manner. While saying this it is pertinent to also say that the behaviours can be altered, well within a boundary – yes. DNA is the underlying cause of uniting the organization and Aqua Diving Inc. can do well to define its DNA at inception. DNA of the future can be set up.
Corporate DNA is a doorway through which all behaviours can be tested against and it is not a prison. Stories need to be created that can be told to teams away from the home place of the organization, away from the entrepreneur fathers of the organization. The gurus that conceptualized corporate DNA have identified certain basic building blocks of the organization (reproduced here.)
Figure: Building blocks of Corporate DNA
Based on these four building blocks there have been 7 different types of organization that have been identified for the sake of classification, viz: Resilient organization (One that responds quickly to market shifts yet has a clear focus on goals and its strategy), Just In Time organization(not consistently proactive but preparing for changes and responds), The Military Organization (Driven by small top management team succeeding through sheer force of will), The passive-aggressive organization (apparently congenial and conflict free preparing for change is not difficult, but implementing those decisions is), The Fits and Starts Organization (great talent pool but with varied directions and lack of synergy), The Outgrown Organization (too large, too complex bursting at seams with under-utilized talent) and the Over Managed Organization (Multi layered organization with a “analysis-paralysis” syndrome) (Gary L. Neilson, 2004).
Aqua Diving Inc. has defined for itself the following three primary classes of DNA for the organization – Joy, Share and Create.
|Joy –||Share –||Create –|
|The joy to create pleasure and performance
The joy to share and learn together
The joy of life
The joy to learn and train
The joy to unearth and discover
The joy to preserve earth
The joy to be friendly
Share ties and bonds
Share affection genuinely
Seeking sharing of joy
|The ability to create value – value for all stakeholders
Create concern for life and safety
Create consideration for all
Aqua Diving Inc. firmly believes that being in the business of training and entertainment it must have that element of Joy as the first component of the DNA. That Aqua Diving Inc. must encourage sharing in the true sense of the word because the organization has to grow and growth comes from sharing. Sharing creates learning and this is important for the Aqua Diving Inc. team. Aqua Diving Inc. also believes that it must constantly create and compete at the knowledge level too as knowledge is the future of business. It is to create a winning organization that this DNA has been framed and this will be the guiding north-star when decisions need to be, especially those without a precedent in the organizations. This is very critical for the organization to define at the very inception and ingrain these principles in every employee and associate who gets to be associated with Aqua Diving Inc.
Aqua Diving Inc. would be far beyond a conventional holiday diving centre or a recreation diving centre. The commitment of the organization is to ensure complete experiences for all the guests who walk in to the resort anywhere in the world. Even a casual walk-in must be lured in with the sense of service that is offered at Aqua Diving Inc. and that is where the joy component comes in. The people smiling and willing to be of service and genuinely interested in the cause and concerns of each of the guest is what the fundamental concept of joy going to be. There will be genuine joy while taking the first-time diver down there – gently holding hands with a touch that is reassuring and allowing them to explore and wonder about the great and equally joyous underwater world to them. It is the same joy of the underwater world that Aqua Diving Inc. would bring above and allow it to be experienced by guest both out of water and under water – the same colourful, joyous approach.
Sharing is a very important concept for the organization and is fully aligned with another value that is – resource utilization. Sharing of knowledge, skill and experience is a very important faced of Aqua Diving Inc. There will be more and more encouragement for sharing – especially the knowledge and skill component. There would be incentivization for helping colleagues and other learn newer aspects of work life and manage work-life balance better. The value of sharing has been handed over to us by our parents and this is universally true. However as we grow into adults also grow our insecurities this sharing aspect that has been taught somewhere tends to get lost and our belief that hoarding knowledge and skill would enhance our position overtakes us and blinds us. However this is going to be the very part of the Aqua Diving Inc.’s DNA and it is a critical component of life at Aqua Diving Inc. All employees right from the days of being inducted into Aqua Diving Inc. anywhere in the world be will be drilled with this wonderful concept and it is how the life at Aqua Diving Inc. is going to be!
Creating and creativity have to be part of the Aqua Diving Inc. work culture. At Aqua Diving Inc. we acknowledge that no two client’s requirement is ever going to be the very same. Every client has to be approached and serviced with a sense of uniqueness. If this is not done a sense of routine sets and once the routine sets in there would be fatigue. Once the fatigue sets in the service levels dip and many things tend to get taken for granted and the primary business differentiator would tend to get lost and hence create is a very critical component of the Aqua Diving Inc. business. Exploring every client’s need at an individual level and thereby customising the service plan for that customer is what Aqua Diving Inc. will strive for and deliver. And this is one of the key things that will make Aqua Diving Inc. stand out in the crowded market place – our individual approach and ability to deliver absolutely personalized service!
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While the DNA sets the culture of the organization and dictates its behaviour the Mission statement defines the purpose of the organization. The very reason for its existence. This statement is the foundation for all managerial actions and the Mission statement is primarily meant for the Leadership and the primary stakeholders of the organization.
Mission statement is supposed to define the key measure of the organizational success (Nursing Management, 2013). The Mission statement is supposedly the starting point of the strategic planning and goal setting processes.
Aqua Diving Inc. has frozen the organization’s mission statement be:
“Become a network of diving facilities, delivering great experiences!”
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