Through Guy’s Eyes – How strong is your organisation’s DNA?

Organisational DNA

What colour eyes do you have? Do you like the taste of brussels sprouts? Are you left-handed?

The answers to all these questions are determined by your DNA. But you knew that already. What you might not know – or at least, might not have thought about – is that your organisation also has a DNA, a genetic code that makes you YOU. And that makes it very different to other organisations, even those offering similar products and services and operating in the same environment.

In some organisations, DNA is accidental. It’s evolved simply as a by-product of the way they have done things over time. In others, it’s intentional, carefully engineered and implemented as a result of deliberate introspection and design.

These are the organisations that are most likely to succeed. That’s because organisations of this ilk have spent a lot of time and effort defining what makes them unique and considering how this manifests in everything, from their processes and procedures to their business philosophy. And, most importantly, what the ultimate impact on their customers’ experiences will be.

They use their DNA to differentiate themselves. In contrast, organisations operating blindly aren’t aware that they are able to leverage this defining factor, let alone how to do so.

Just consider how DNA adds to your efficiency: leopards and giraffes both live in the same environment, but it’s their DNA that makes them adapt in different ways for an optimal chance of survival.

So, how can you make DNA as much a part of your arsenal? Firstly, by becoming aware of its importance. Then taking active steps to craft it. If you don’t, if you let it take shape by accident, everything in your organisation becomes happenstance. Things happen in spite of, rather than because of, who you are and what you stand for. Hard decisions will be guided by intuition. And, in case you’re wondering if this is really such a bad thing, let’s take a look at another example from the animal kingdom: the mule, a sterile hybrid whose DNA got blurred somewhere along the line.

Far better to have a clear-cut idea of what your organisation is all about, and let this infuse every aspect of its functioning. Embed it in your structure and framework. Express it in the way you behave. Make sure everyone within the organisation understands it. Use it to help you stay at the cutting edge of your industry.

And if you’re still not sure what your DNA looks like, call us – we’ll help you define it.

    Guy Martin is the founder & Managing Director of Blueprints: assisting CEOs to drive growth by increasing the alignment of their people to business goals by 50% within an 18 month period.