In the current state of the economy, the first tact often taken by corporations as they move into survival mode is to start slashing payroll. While lauded by Wall Street, “downsizing” carries with it significant challenges to the corporation and to the individuals “left behind.” sten consultants
The backlash a company faces can be felt on numerous fronts-from public relations problems to bitterness and morale problems felt by surviving employees. And it’s not as if the work performed by those now unemployed simply “goes away”. Surviving employees are often expected to continue to perform their own roles while picking up the roles of the eliminated positions-generally without a corresponding increase in compensation or “status” within the organization. This can create an incredible amount of additional stress for surviving employees and create a morale problem that can last for many months or even years down the road.
In the third article of our series discussing why A Corporation is a Person, Too, we will examine what an organization and the individuals within the organization can do to combat all types of stresses-both internal and external. We take no position on the relative costs and benefits of downsizing, but rather seek to illuminate how we as individuals within an organization-and even the organizational entity itself-can seek to combat such stress.
In the MindOS system, by Dr. Paul Dobransky, there are four primary components to DURABLE FULFILLMENT – the ultimate goal of any individual or organization. The component most often ignored and least understood, but perhaps most important, is the concept of the boundary. Why is the boundary so important? Because it is the part that creates the “durable” component of DURABLE FULFILLMENT. And as we will learn, it is the boundary that provides the first defense against outside stress-whether to our organization or to us personally-and also helps preserve our personal and organizational resources.
Have you ever experienced a level of fulfillment in your personal life or in your business that you know or believe is only temporary? Ever noticed how it sometimes can actually cause stress in itself as you may even “worry” about how long the good times will last? Have you ever asked yourself why even “good things” that happen to us seem to cause more stress? How about external stress resulting from bad economic times or increased competition? All of these stresses can be mastered by understanding the concept of the personal or corporate boundary.
What is the corporate or personal boundary?
In simple terms, the corporate or personal boundary is the “tank” that houses the resources we possess that allow us to reach and maintain FULFILLMENT. Additionally, it is what gives an individual or company its identity. It is the company mission statement, the products it sells, the internal rules and procedures, the corporate culture, and much more. In simple terms, it is the “territory” that a company or individual controls. Why does the corporate boundary define a company’s identity? Well if McDonald’s announced tomorrow that it was opening up a chain of upper-end “fine-dining” restaurants (i.e., it is trying to increase its “territory”) what would you think the likely reaction would be? An instant success? Or a likely failure?
Synonymous to the concept of the corporate boundary is the personal boundary. If I tell you I like pizza, dislike fish, love rock and roll, dislike country, love football, and dislike baseball-this tells you something about me. And in all these cases, I’m stating preferences. In other words, I’m building and defining my boundary by stating my preferences.
McDonald’s, like so many durably successful companies, has a well defined Corporate Boundary that provides an identity. If McDonald’s tried to go “outside” its boundary, it would in many ways feel like a “violation” to the consumer. The consumer may even stop going to the “old” McDonald’s. Consultants in marketing may call this type of failed strategy “brand confusion”. But in more simple terms, it’s just a blurring of the corporate boundary. McDonald’s competing in the fine-dining space would likely be contrary to its mission statement, would alter its product mix, and likely cause a significant change to its corporate culture-all with potentially disastrous consequences. (This is not to say that an individual or organization should never seek to expand its boundary. But it must do so with a realization of the internal resources it possesses and the “deals” the environment is making with it. For more on the personal and corporate boundary and how to expand it, visit us by clicking the link below.)
But the boundary does far more than just provide an identity. In the next article in the series, we will learn how the corporate and personal boundary can serve as a type of “shield” to internal and external stress.