Organizational Consultation XVI The Chartering Process: Part One
A consulting team, consisting of 3 members was formed. We proposed a six step chartering process to Gary. The first step would involve review of the organizational culture inventory data with all of the employees of New England Standard. This would serve as a springboard for the chartering process. Specifically, we would meet with all employees, sharing the cultural inventory results, and facilitating small group and large group discussions. A statement regarding the enduring values of New England Standard would emerge from this daylong meeting with the entire staff.
A second step would link this chartering process with New England Standard’s ongoing strategic planning initiative. We suggested that the vision component of the charter should come from the strategic planning of the company. There is no need to re-invent the wheel or to initiate competing or overlapping ventures. Chartering as an appreciative strategy should always build on existing documents and processes of an institution. Chartering is counter-productive when it is initiated as an independent process and if past work or other work going on at the same time is ignored. When past work and concurrent work is discounted, then the products of the chartering process will themselves be discounted. The chartering process will produce documents that are placed on a shelf somewhere or used in a very restricted manner by those members of the administrative team that happened to champion this specific planning process.
The third step would involve review of the company’s mission statement and other documents that have articulated the fundamental assumptions of the organization about “the business it is in.” We proposed that members of the consulting team not only review historical documents, but also interview Gary and the other three founding employees, all of whom still worked at New England Standard. Members of the team would then draft a new mission statement that would subsequently be reviewed by Gary and other key executives at New England Standard. The revised mission statement would then be formally reviewed, modified and adopted by the New England Standard Board of Directors.
We proposed a fourth step that focuses on the purposes of the New England Standard Corporation. We suggested that the company not looking exclusively at the historical documents and history of the company when identifying its purposes, as was done in formulating its mission statement. Rather, all of the New England Standard employees should be once again brought together to reflect on the reasons why they chose to work at New England Standard. We also wanted the employees to identify what gives them the greatest amount of satisfaction in their daily activities at New England Standard. We proposed that the mission of New England Standard should be owned by Gary and the New England Standard Board, but the purposes of the organization should be owned by the employees of New England Standard.