A pack of challenging questions came to me, recently: Why success seems do not come fairly from effort? Why some people just lucky to get what they want, while some do not, despite their tirelessly efforts?
To be honest, I don’t know why exactly that happened. Such questions can only be answered by those who actually own the experiences, whether it is a success or failure. Only those who failed can explain why they failed, as only those who had succeed with their attempt can explain precisely why they succeed.
But, I do know this: Every process has its own unique anatomy. To obtain successful result, we have to understand the anatomy. Understanding the anatomy means understanding how things work. This anatomy, has a formal name: organization. Understanding the organization of things help us better in understanding how to really succeed.
Organization? What does it means, really?
Some like to describe it as a work system where people work together to meet a presumably collective goal. Perhaps, this is the most easily understood and popular way to portray organization. But, I prefer to describe it as the anatomy of a process. Essentially, when different things linked altogether for a certain purpose, they are being organized. Organization, therefore, is an entity that bears such quality. It could be a formal structure with clear silos and joints, or it could be a line of process/activities. What really matter is that there is a pattern of organizing, or the anatomy.
Let’s return to the set of questions on the beginning. Those questions give us a reality check. They tell us how things often do not go along with our expectations. We thought we already understand how things work, we had our plan, and we were so sure that things turn out as we have expected. Then, something unexpected happened, and it changed almost everything. Suddenly, the plan we’ve made become invalid, and all reasons fell into questions.
Usually, this is the time for blame-game. We blame the environment for not being on our side. We blame other people for doing something that disrupt our plan. We said that we were not lucky enough, while some others have better luck. Unlike understanding a machine or a simple math equation, we take our failure as a very hard thing to explain. In fact, often times we avoid to honestly acknowledge it and own it. Ironically, it’s a lot easier to claim a success that may not entirely ours, while it is difficult to own when it comes to failure that was clearly ours.
Human is the anomaly of organization. Yes, human. It’s a human nature to do things in their own way. No matter we plan the process and set up rules, people will not always follow uniformly. Unlike nuts and bolts in machines, people don’t have a fix specification. They change over time, and they react differently to different settings. Often times, we consider this as inconsistency, defiance or disobedience. Just about time when things were so well planned, it’s the people who somehow derailed it.
When it only delivered unsatisfying outcomes, we call it failures, and we tend to find someone for taking the blame. Nevertheless, we learned that sometimes this irregularity leads to new unexpected results we called as creative innovations. If such is the case, failure may not be a failure at all.
People is the anomaly of any organizational process. People do things that sometimes become failures, sometimes become unexpected innovations.