Organizational Consultation XVII  The Chartering Process (Part Two)

Organizational Consultation XVII The Chartering Process (Part Two)

Step Four: Identifying the Purposes of the Organization

At this point, four months into the chartering project, we went back to Gary and the senior administrative team to review what had been accomplished to date. Several members of the team indicated their surprise that the process had moved along smoothly, while others were still waiting to see if the chartering process would make a difference. Gary expressed his support for the project, but reiterated that his primary concern continued to be the alignment of all New England Standard activities around a core set of goals, objectives, outcomes—“or whatever you want to call it!” We proposed that the next and final component of the charter needed to be put in place. This final component was the purpose of the organization. We reiterated that the purpose is often the factor that heightens employee commitment to the organization as well as providing direction—and alignment. We also reiterated that the purposes can best be identified by not only looking back at document, but also by bringing together all of the employees to reflect on the reasons they choose to continue working at New England Standard.

In supporting our proposal, Gary set up a series of small focus group meetings where employees from different departments of the organization met to identify their own sense of the company’s purpose. We asked participant in each focus group to briefly convey a story about a particularly gratifying experience at New England Standard. In most cases, employees shared a story about a client that they were able to help or about ways in which they were able to effectively support other employees inside New England Standard. We also asked the employees in each focus group to talk candidly about their reasons for working at New England Standard, including monetary incentives and job security.

Members of our team were able to identify five major purposes for the New England Standard Corporation, based on the focus group discussions as well as the team members’ review of various company documents:

Providing High Quality Services: stimulating economic growth and cooperation among small to medium-sized organizations; providing the leaders of these organizations with the fundamental knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to be effective in the management of their risks and insurance needs; enabling them, in turn, to more effectively address the needs of the community they serve. [“By helping a company acquire insurance that is instrumental to their growth, they can be more productive and competitive in their marketplace.” From: New England Standard Brochure 2011]

Accessibility: providing leaders of small to medium-sized organizations with accessible financial services and affordable high quality support services. In many instances, the clients being served by New England Standard are family owned and run businesses. New England Standard is committed to assisting and helping to preserve small family-based businesses—which reside at the heart of America’s distinctive character.

Preparing Organizations for the Future: creating and maintaining a setting in which the leaders of small to medium-sized organizations working collaboratively with New England Standard help to prepare for the future direction and scope of their changing businesses.

Community Leadership: serving (individually and collectively) in a leadership role in the insurance community—promoting the highest standards in fostering the personal and professional growth of individuals and groups inside the New England Standard Corporation.

Providing Stable Employment: ensuring that a group of well-paid, efficient employees will find job security through hard work. [“New England Standard has a long history of commitment to employees and of setting this commitment at the forefront in terms of decision-making and strategic planning processes.” Interview with a founder.]


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William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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