Article: The Anatomy of Institution Building


The Anatomy of Institution Building

A sound leadership, with a strong sense of values and ethics, is essential for a company's continued success
The Anatomy of Institution Building

Starting an enterprise is only the first small step in the formidable task of making a vibrant, robust and long-standing institution. It is a long-drawn and gradual process. The Atomic Energy Commission and the Space Commission are often held up as shining examples of institutions that has been built up with good leadership and vision. Both were led by men with grand vision, who set ambitious yet pragmatic goals and who were able to inculcate strong team-spirit and sense of pride in achieving the goals. In the private sector too, there are a legion of enterprises known for great accomplishments, which have brought international recognition, high degree of integrity and transparency and strong ethical values.

The success of any organization depends on constant evolution – openness to change as the organization matures and grows. A clear vision of the goal, a long-term perspective of the road ahead, the ability to respond to challenges and competition and a cohesive team are critical to any institution. Above all, a sound leadership, with a strong sense of values and ethics is essential for its continued success.

An organization to be regarded as a great institution must be imbibed with the following traits:

  1. Vision: A clear goal must be set for the organization. Time intensive yet critical in setting the direction for the company’s growth.
  2. Team-building: The leadership team must commit to attracting the best talent and create a sense of involvement, participation and emotional engagement and thus build a cohesive team. They should be able to leverage the strengths in the group and draw the best out of each one. Every member of the team should have a sense of pride in accomplishing the set goals. Building trust and a sense of loyalty is also crucial
  3. Innovation: The core leadership team should be prepared to try out new, innovative ways and also encourage others to come up with fresh ideas which will propel the organization to a higher trajectory. For this, they should repose confidence in team members and give them the autonomy and flexibility to act.
  4. Inclusiveness: For an organization to ensure its survival, its leadership must actively steer towards being an inclusive organization where in employees can voice their view points. Infact, the leadership team should display the ability to listen including of those who may have different viewpoints rather than merely imposing their views. This will instill confidence in others and enhance the overall performance.
  5. Motivation: Motivating others in the team is essential in such a way that the total outcome of the efforts will be more than the sum of its parts. There are different ways of motivating – conferring pecuniary and non-pecuniary benefits like explicit appreciation and recognition for good performance, offering guidance, assigning more important and challenging tasks, encouraging performers to come up with fresh ideas in achieving the goals, promoting them to higher levels, awarding higher remuneration and employee stock options, etc.
  6. Value system: A strong value system and high degree of integrity should be built into the organization. Under any circumstances, the organization should never compromise with values and ethical practices. This should permeate at all levels of the organization
  7. Transparency: Total transparency in all dealings must be the hallmark so that it inspires confidence not only within the set-up, but also among the clients and public at large who will then look upon it as an ideal organization
  8. Leadership- Leadership is one of the most crucial aspect in institution building, some of the attributes a great leader should exhibit are
    1. Confidence: Every leader must exhibit self-confidence in his own convictions, he or she should be prepared to take responsibility for any errors in judgment and resultant setbacks, and share the success credits with the entire team.
    2. Courage: To build a long standing organization, the leader should have the courage to face and take heads-on the challenges and strive to convert them into opportunities. It is essential to back up one’s team through the thick and thin
    3. Modesty: Modesty and humility are essential traits in the leadership team as it inspires confidence and earns a fund of goodwill and loyalty. Ability to cut across hierarchy, and interact seamlessly with people at different levels in the Organization helps improve the work culture.
    4. WE v/s I – This is where things fall apart, when one person starts believing he can do no wrong. When ‘I’ starts taking prominence than ‘we’, the team falls aside. Infact, it is the first signal that he or she has become too big for his or her shoes. It bodes ill for the future growth and profitability of the organization. Great companies and teams are built by all kind of leaders, but the ones that thrive are the ones that stress on the team. A leader who is an ambitious and demanding person, in a position of great responsibility and facing enormous pressures, may tend to be abrupt, hard and even rude to his subordinates. When a house is on fire, it is imprudent to be analysing over what led to the fire instead of everyone joining hands and putting out the fire. However, calmness is a much appreciated virtue.
    5. Finding a workable solution at times of crisis is also very important trait. Ponder and then act is an important maxim a leader needs to follow. He has to be sure of the best course of action under any circumstances. The ability to take a balanced view of the whole scene is an important asset. Infact, true leaders are always open to course correction. While timeliness of action is important, there is obvious merit to reserving one’s decisions until all the facts and forces which may impact are known. Above all these virtues, to built a successful organization a good leader should also be a effective communicator.

Though these virtues are highly regarded, a leader’s actions should be judged not merely on these but with reference to the moral purpose to which his actions are directed.

Saying or claiming to be an 'entrepreneur' or a 'serial entrepreneur' is far from claiming to be an 'ideal entrepreneur' or institution builder’ respected by the industry, it calls for a confluence of great vision as well as strong personal traits.

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Topics: Entrepreneurship, #ExpertViews

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