Public Organizations and Private Organizations

Organizations are not all the same. It is easy to see differences when assessing or categorizing organizations based on criteria such as products, services, purposes, profit, or non-profit. The fundamental difference between public and private organizations is the purpose and goal of the organization (Leflar & Siegel, 2013). A public organization (non-profit, service-oriented) seeks to provide a service or product to the public as part of a governmental or quasi-governmental function without focusing on making a profit. For instance, a city library provides an essential service to the people of the city; the organizational goal is to provide library services to the public. The operation of a public organization by a governmental body or a Board of Directors appointed to facilitate the functioning of the organization is in the interest of the public.

A private organization is profit-driven and responsible to shareholders. The goal of a private organization (business) is to deliver goods or services to customers with the intent to make a profit for the shareholders. For instance, Exxon seeks to make a profit for the shareholders through the sale of petroleum products. The sole purpose of this company is to make a profit for those who have invested in the company (shareholders). The private organization may offer some public service or good that benefits non-shareholders, but the fundamental purpose of the private organization is to provide a profit for the shareholders. Indeed, the workforce at the organization benefits from having a job, but that is a necessity for the operation of the organization. It is very likely that if an organization could operate and make a profit without a workforce, it would because the workforce is an expense for the organization.

Organizational Transformation Strategies

The discussion contained within addresses strategies to achieve organizational transformation. To better understand the component strategies of strategic, incremental, reactive, and anticipatory, the management system used in the ANSI/ASIS Organizational Resilience Management Standard (ASIS ORM.l, 2017) is presented as a robust framework to achieve the goals of developing, implementing, and monitoring the transformative change initiative. The ASIS ORM.1-2017 standard is based on a systems perspective of organizations, uses a Plan-Do-Check-Act cyclical approach to moving from one component to the next, and an iterative process of change to allow for profound and manageable process change (ASIS International, 2017).

Strategic-Level Transformational Strategy

The strategic-level organizational transformation strategies affect the holistic nature of the organization at all levels. The strategic issues of change focus on organizational structure, policy, governance, and regulatory issues, senior leader support, internal-external environmental concerns, and technology interdependencies (ASIS International, 2017). A fundamental strategic concern is a justification for pursuing the change initiative. For instance, if an organization attempts to achieve an enhanced level of organizational resilience, the goal must be in alignment with the business goals of the organization (Leflar & Siegel, 2013). Organizational leaders have a responsibility to conduct business to benefit the employees and the organizations (Levy, Parco, & Blass, 2009).

A strategic issue is incorporating the change into the governance process, as well as the structural processes of the organization so that it becomes part of the organization; it must become a long-term, sustainable element of the organization (Coughlan, & Rashford, 2006; Galbraith, Downey, & Kates, 2002). The strategic aspects of change require that the senior leadership must actively support the change and maintain the involvement of the internal-external stakeholders of the organization (Coughlan, & Rashford, 2006; Galbraith, Downey, & Kates, 2002). There is another quality or element of the organization that must be fully involved positively; the change initiative must become part of the organizational culture to become a transformational change (Coughlan, & Rashford, 2006). The culture of the organization is a strategic matter because the culture is the root of the organization and carries the values, traditions, formal and informal expectations, and beliefs.

Incremental-Level Transformational Strategy

An incremental approach to viewing the process of transformational change is critical in that organizations are complex, and change may take place at different rates; sometimes, the difference in change rate is intentional and designed into the implementation phase. An incremental approach to implementing change to improve organizational resilience is a better method because of the increased control opportunities (Leflar & Siegel, 2013). Also, the iterative nature of the ASIS ORM.1-2017 framework makes incremental change strategies inherent to the management system (ASIS International, 2017). The importance of regular feedback from the organization provides critical information during the process of the change initiative; it provides opportunities for improvement throughout the process (Galbraith, Downey, & Kates, 2002). A powerfully valuable component of incremental change is the ability to assess the plan against the current process and the attainment of the goals; it is acceptable to modify the project work to gain the necessary alignment with the planned goals or adjust the goals if they are flawed (Coughlan & Rashford, 2006). Maintaining the pace of the implementation is essential (i.e., avoid moving too fast or too slow) so that the organization does not lose focus or interest in the change (Galbraith, Downey, & Kates, 2002). A great value to the organization during a change initiative is the very nature of incremental change; the organization can see the change take hold and possibly increase efficiencies or enhance the resilience of the organization.

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