The vision or end goal or an organization or business should be consistent, but the way the vision is reached should mostly be flexible. As demands of consumers or clients change, as the economy changes, or if improvements need to be made to the existing methods of reaching the defined vision, an organization or business needs to remain flexible to tweaking the way it attempts to reach its set goals.
There are times, however, when an organization or business can be totally inflexible. Take my favorite Philadelphia breakfast dive, Little Pete’s Diner. Little Pete has been doing the same thing, in the same building, with no remodeling and no major changes to their huge menu for years. They are cash only, 2 people minimum per booth (NO EXCEPTIONS), they are not keen on substitutions (trust me), you get 2 minutes to decide on your order, and they turn tables quickly. It’s a typical no nonsense diner that has won countless “Best Of” awards, but they are the way they are and they aren’t changing anytime soon. Why? They offer the best breakfast in central city Philly and have good, cheap food 24 hours a day and people often wait to get a seat. Bottom line: they don’t have to, that’s why.
Here are some reasons I can think of that an organization can be inflexible:
- When it is the best at what it does and there is no close second.
- When there is no competition.
- When demand for the product or service far exceeds supply.
For the rest of us, we may need to consider remaining flexible in our methods if we want to continue to realize our goals. (Just ask General Motors about this principle!)