An exceptional organization is forward thinking. It consistently asks,

  • What will the world be like in five, ten, twenty years?
  • What will be available then, which is not now?
  • Where will we be able to provide value in this new world?

An exceptional organization isn’t afraid of new territory. It sees the benefit in,

  • Empowering people to be experimental in trying new things.
  • Entering markets which are unfamiliar if, and only if, it can understand how to provide better service.

An exceptional organization understands there is more power in collaboration than competition. In a collaborative environment,

  • Work which would otherwise be done twice-over by multiple organizations is done once and standardized.
  • There is less customer risk in adopting products which are well-supported and trusted.
  • New ideas will reliably form at the boundaries of information and discipline.

An exceptional organization seeks to provide true value. It understands that,

  • Customers favor durability, reliability and compatibility over parlor tricks.
  • Public investors favor reliability rather than showmanship.
  • Value is found in making the customer’s life easier, not harder.

An exceptional organization is inclusive. It does not favor,

  • People from a specific race, country or nationality.
  • People from a specific set of schools or pedigrees.
  • It does favor instead, exceptional people who produce excellent results.

An exceptional organization is not oppressive. It understands that,

  • Its success is strongly dependent on its internal and external network of trust and alliances.
  • Trusting relationships with former members will encourage collaborative futures with those members.
  • Burying exploitative terms deep within contracts may result in short term gain but to the long-term detriment of the organization’s reputation.
  • Continued exploitation can eventually result in an us-versus-them divide among strata of the organization where productivity, trust and happiness become second thoughts to political games.

An exceptional organization recognizes their lasting success is not in maximizing short-term numbers, but in their ability to reliably and continually produce exceptional results. It understands that exceptional results come from a culture where,

  • Happiness and health are prioritized over quotas and metrics.
  • People feel empowered to speak freely rather than “fall in line”.
  • People are encouraged to understand why and how decisions are made.
  • Management seriously considers the input of all people rather than operating on preconceived patterns and beliefs.
  • Decision-making is not deferred to procedures and guidelines, but instead logic and reasoning about the situations at hand.

An exceptional organization believes in the inherent quality of its products, and isn’t afraid to let free markets be an unbiased judge. It understands that,

  • Friction free sales are of utmost importance in gaining new customers and market share.
  • Sales tactics that require closed-door meetings and calling representatives can strongly limit product adoption.
  • Sales tactics that aggressively attempt to up-sell customers will result in a breakdown of customer trust.

An exceptional organization stands by its products, their continued availability, and function. It strives to,

  • Rapidly correct any manufacturing malfunction of its goods.
  • Make spare parts available for customers to repair its products in-situ.
  • Make available information about how to correctly repair its products.
  • Provide a long production life for products it introduces.

An exceptional organization recognizes it has a responsibility as a steward of its community. It understands,

  • The need for life cycle analysis of products to ensure long-term externalities and impacts are net positive.
  • That products which produce toxic pollution will result in regulation of the organization’s industry.
  • Officials should not be corrupted to further the organization’s interest to the detriment of the public good.

An exceptional organization is not penny-wise, pound-foolish. It will,

  • Be cognizant and pragmatic about its operating costs, yet not seek to be miserly in spending.
  • Understand that short-cuts in design and production can and often do result in significant deferred costs.
  • Seek to understand how people spend their time in the organization and invest in tools which assist in execution of their tasks.

An exceptional organization is honest in its communications, and understands that,

  • Double-speak will inevitably result in the organization losing credibility on the public stage.
  • Differing narratives between investors, the public, and members of the organization will cause tensions and broken relationships that can lead to demise and dissolution of the organization.
  • Cryptic communication and omission of details can result in the same end effects as willful fabrication and falsification.

An exceptional organization understands that exceptional integrity is requisite for attracting exceptional people. ∎